The AIS Detectors Core Course AIS Professionals option was developed with AIS and other natural-resource or environmental professionals in mind to help hone their identification skills; refresh their knowledge on impacts, aquatic ecology, and Minnesota AIS laws; provide a detailed explanation of reporting tools; and more.
The AIS Detectors Core Course for AIS professionals includes all of the AIS identification, regulations, reporting, and monitoring modules that are included in the Core Course offered to community members, but also includes a module focused on wetland invasives in lieu of community member modules focused on volunteering. Professionals taking the Core Course attend the same workshops as the community members. Those joining as professionals will have access to additional learning modules during both the online and in-person portions of the training to learn more about invasive wetland plants. AIS professionals are not expected to complete any volunteering activities, as they will use the knowledge they gain from this course in a professional capacity.
The self-paced online course takes approximately 8 hours to complete, followed by two live, 3-hour online workshop sessions. The self-paced content must be completed prior to the start of the online workshops. You will select which workshop session pair you will attend when registering. You must complete both workshop sessions in order to receive credit for the course and become certified as an AIS Detector.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the AIS professionals track differ from the community members track?
The AIS Detectors Core Course for professionals contains much of the same content as the Core Course for community members. Professionals taking the Core Course attend the same workshops as the community members. Those joining as professionals will have access to additional learning modules during both the online and in-person portions of the training to learn more about invasive wetland plants. Those on the professional track are not required to complete the modules on volunteering. This change reflects the different needs of AIS professionals seeking further education and training compared to volunteer audiences. We have found the mix of professionals and community members learning identification skills side-by-side during the in-person workshops to be a pleasant and beneficial experience.
What is the time commitment?
The Core Course is approximately 16 total hours of training, including a self-paced online course, pre-workshop activities, and virtual workshop sessions. The self-paced online course can be completed around your schedule anywhere you have access to the internet. After completing the self-paced online course you will have a couple activities to do to prepare for the virtual workshops. The virtual workshop consists of two 3-hour sessions. You must successfully complete both the online course and BOTH workshop sessions in order to receive your AIS Detectors completion certificate.
The AIS Professional course does not require any volunteer hours to maintain status as an AIS Detector. However, we do recommend engaging in Advanced Training opportunities in order to grow and maintain your AIS knowledge set.
What is the cost?
The 2021 Core Course for Professionals is being offered for $200. Your registration fee covers unlimited access to the online course, a digital companion to the online training, access to the virtual workshops, an early copy of the new 3rd edition of our AIS Identification Guide Book, networking opportunities with other AIS Detectors and experts, as well as some goodies mailed to your doorstep.
Can an organization or my employer sponsor my participation?
Yes. An individual or organization (such as your employer) can cover your course registration fees. Simply have that group pay for your registration online. If there is interest in a larger group taking the Core Course, purchasing a group workshop may be a more cost-effective option.