Invasives Strike Force Surveyor |

Description: 

Help find the next problem invaders that threaten our region's natural areas...Become an Invasives Strike Force (ISF) citizen science volunteer!

We are excited to announce and unroll our newly refined ISF survey program for 2022! Many of you have helped contribute to our standard, intermediate, and blockbuster surveys that were the hallmark of our ISF survey program for the past 10 years. This robust decadal data set has served as the foundation necessary to map and manage both the common and some key emerging invasive species along with our region’s trail system.  

The next iteration of our citizen science survey programming will now exclusively target species that have been identified as high priority species by Lower Hudson PRISM partners and other regional and state agency collaborators.

 

As an Invasives Strike Force (ISF) Survey volunteer, you have the opportunity to become a forest health detective! ISF Survey volunteers are trained in the identification and reporting of invasive species by attending a fun and interactive webinar, complete with field ID footage, to help learn what key ID features to look for when out in the field. Volunteers are then assigned a section of trail to search for these invasive plants and have the entire summer and early fall to survey and report back to us.
 

Trail section assignments are individually tailored to make it easy and convenient for that volunteer to access, and each volunteer can survey their trail assignment on their own schedule. Our goal is to make it fun, educational, and convenient to help protect the land you love! Data from these community-powered surveys are utilized to help make management decisions to help fight the further spread of invasive species into our natural areas and to organize volunteer workdays to help with the removal of invasive plants.
 

Not only will you learn how to identify invasive plants as part of your ISF experience, but you will also learn how to use some user-friendly mobile apps to help identify many other types of native plants and wildlife that you are seeing along your hike or in your neighborhood. It truly takes the nature experience to the next level! Please sign up today!
 

Description continued: 

In 2022, ISF surveyors will be identifying and reporting on:

Beech leaf disease (BLD) and its possible association with invasive jumping worms

Spotted lanternfly and its primary host, tree of heaven

Monthly rotating invasive plant featured as part of our EcoQuest Challenge survey program

This list of species will allow our staff and partners to rapidly respond to early detection reports and set the management agenda for 2023.  The citizen science reporting structure will be similar to years past but less labor-intensive – it will feel a little more like an exploratory hike! 

 

As an Invasives Strike Force Surveyor volunteer...

You will be required to attend a species ID training to learn how to identify these 5 invasive species

You will also attend a second training on how to collect and report data for the ISF including how to use two nature reporting apps- iMapInvasives and iNaturalist

After completing training, you will be assigned to a trail section (~2 miles long).

You then are free to explore your trail while identifying and mapping the invasive species you learned in training. This data collection can be completed within one outing or over several trips until you feel confident that you have identified all of the target species along your trail - but should be completed by the end of the summer.

After you have completed your trail section, you can ask to have another section assigned to you. You can map as many trail sections during the season as you have time for.

We would love to have your help! Check our Events Page regularly for part 1 and 2 trainings, as well as other relevant workshops and events!

Volunteer Opportunity