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University of Minnesota Extension

Terrestrial Invasive Species Participatory Science (TIPS) projects

Invasive species are non-native organisms that cause harm to the environment, the economy or human health. Anyone can help Extension as we work to monitor and prevent the spread of invasive species in Minnesota through our Terrestrial Invasive Species Participatory Science (TIPS) program.

The TIPS program captures the power of local communities to address critical invasive species issues. Participatory science projects, such as those we run through TIPS, can help advance invasive species research, management and policy in multiple ways:

  • Detect invasive species early. People who enjoy and work outdoors are often the first to detect invasive species. TIPS leverages outdoor enthusiasts to gather data on invasive species in their area.
  • Answer complicated invasive species questions. TIPS volunteers can gather data to help researchers see if invasive species are acting in unexpected ways.
  • Address community needs. TIPS projects respond to growing concerns and help communities better understand and acknowledge the impacts of invasive species. Volunteers taking action through participatory science can help nurture resilient communities that steward resilient ecosystems.  

Short-term work with long-term impact

Over a dozen short-term projects have been completed with the help of community members across Minnesota. With the help of volunteers, Extension has influenced research and policy around the following species:

  • Amur corktree
  • Black alder
  • Butternut canker
  • Emerald ash borer
  • Garlic mustard
  • Japanese tree lilac
  • Jumping worm 
  • Mock strawberry
  • Norway maple
  • Oak wilt
  • Porcelain berry
  • Siberian peashrub
  • Spotted lanternfly
  • Squill
  • White mulberry


Contact Angie Gupta, agupta@umn.edu for more information on how to get involved.

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