Did you know that most invasive insect infestations are first discovered not by professionals, but by alert community members? In response to the growing threat of invasive pests to Vermont’s forests, state and federal partners identified a need to train local volunteers to assist with outreach, education, and local planning and surveying efforts. To address this need, the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry program developed Vermont's Forest Pest First Detectors (FPFD) program in partnership with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and the Agency of Agriculture, Farms and Markets. Vermont FPFD volunteers are on the front line of defense against forest pest infestations. Since 2008, over 230 people across the state have completed the training and become Forest Pest First Detectors.
Who should participate?
The course is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about invasive forest insects, look for them, and educate others about them. It is appropriate for people with little to no prior experience with invasive insects or who are looking for a refresher to a previous Forest Pest First Detector course.
No continuing education credits will be offered for this course.
About the course
- This is a free, self-paced course, designed to introduce participants to basic concepts and resources.
- Composed of eight sections with optional exercises to test your knowledge.
- Each section has videos and content that can be completed on your own schedule.
- This course requires internet access.
By the end of this course, participants will be able to:
- Understand and explain the threats posed by invasive forest pests.
- Identify the host trees, signs and symptoms, and common look-alikes of emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, elongate hemlock scale, Asian longhorned beetle, spotted lanternfly, beech leaf disease, oak wilt, and jumping worm.
- Locate information on VTinvasives.org and other resources on invasive forest pests.
- Submit reports of suspect infested trees or pests to VTinvasives.org.
- Participate in volunteer opportunities to prepare for or address these pests in your community.
Forest Pest First Detectors for Conservation Commissions will run from April 10 - May 14. Participants will have access to all course materials until the end of 2023. There are 4 optional live webinars, listed below.
- April 11, 12 – 1 pm: Welcome & What’s Going On Conversation
- April 27, 7 – 8 pm Pests to Watch Out For (Register via Natural History Museum of Grafton’s website.)
- May 9, 12 – 1pm: Vermont Forests and Climate Change
- May 12, 12 – 1 pm: Next Steps and Taking Action
Learn more about the course schedule and details below.
Forest Pest First Detectors for Conservation Commissions will run from April 10 - May 14. Participants will have access to all course materials until the end of 2023.
For more information on this program, contact Ginger Nickerson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-656-4831.