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University of Minnesota Extension

EmpowerU: Advocating invasive species management

Do buckthorn, zebra mussels or some other invasive plant or animal cause you worry? Have you ever wanted to talk with a resource manager, local decision maker or elected official about invasive species in your community but don’t know how to go about it? You can learn how to influence land management decisions and stop the spread of invasive species!

This program helps woodland and shoreline owners, master volunteers and natural resources professionals grow their skills to meaningfully engage decision makers about invasive species. 

At the end of this training you will:

  • Understand the roles and levels of government and who to contact regarding invasive species management.

  • Learn to use skills such as influence, power, persuasion, framing, questioning and listening in interactions with decision makers.

  • Know where to find reputable information on the status of invasive species in your area.

  • Have an engagement plan and experience practicing it in a safe, peer-learning environment.

  • See yourself as a resource to decision makers on invasive species management.

  • View engagement with decision makers as a norm and encourage others to do it.

  • Network with other people passionate to make a difference around invasive species.

Most importantly, you will be able to apply what you have learned in this workshop to confidently share information with decision makers, give input on policies and plans, and be an active voice in land management around invasive species.

Continuing education units (CEUs)

  • Master Gardener and Master Naturalist continuing education credits
  • MLEP SFI credits: 6 hours
  • Tree Inspector recertification
  • Society of American Foresters (category 1): 12 CFEs

I appreciated the clear and organized nature of the course and how it helped me develop new skills in a step-by-step fashion. As a result of the process, I feel much more qualified to build and present a strong case for advocacy around environmental concerns. An added bonus was gaining a new network of other committed individuals and key contacts.  — Dana, EmpowerU participant

Development of this course was funded by the Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA).

Bring EmpowerU to your state

Are you an educator interested in bringing EmpowerU training to your audience? Our curriculum has been adapted and used by extension programs across the country! Contact us to learn more and receive curriculum materials.

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