Watch a 4-minute video about AIS Detector volunteers, Extension researchers and educators, and how they work together to keep Minnesota lakes healthy.
Aquatic Invasive Species Detectors (video)
Featuring U of M Extension volunteers in Chisago County
Mary Kay Ripp, a University of Minnesota Extension volunteer in the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Detector program, is featured in this video produced by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC). It was filmed on Chisago Lake.
"I've learned just a ton about what is under the water—is it native, is it non-native? And it's been a blast," says Ripp, a member of the Chisago-Lindstrom Lakes Association.
Also with Ripp in the video is Nancy Moe-Mergens, an AIS Detector volunteer who is a part of the Center Lakes Association. Volunteers tend to work in teams, and the two volunteer together often.
Environmental education, indoors and outdoors
The program, which launched in 2017, is led by Extension and MAISRC, in coordination with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. According to Megan Weber, Extension educator, the education uses a "flipped classroom" style of learning.
"They do the first bit online, where they get general background information about how to identify aquatic invasive species, aquatic ecology, how to report things that they might find," says Weber. "Following that they join us for an in-person workshop with hands-on practice, scenarios and role-playing."