Forest Pest First Detectors

Vermont's battle against forest pests needs you!

Did you know that alert community members are the first to spot most invasive insect infestations? The Forest Pest First Detectors (FPFD) program trains volunteers to protect our forests. If you care about preserving our natural heritage, this free, on-line training is for you!

Quick Facts

  • Vermont Forest Pest First Detectors was created in partnership with state and federal agencies.
  • Over 230 trained volunteers.

Key roles: Early detection and community education.

If you love Vermont's forests and want to help protect them from invasive insects and diseases, take the Forest Pest First Detector on-line training. Your participation could make a huge difference!

View Course Details

Who should take part?

Learn About Invasive Forest Insects

This on-line course is great for beginners and current Forest Pest First Detectors wanting a refresher. It is for anyone who loves the outdoors, wants to learn more about invasive forest insects, and educate others about them.

  • No prior experience necessary.
  • Free and self-paced.
  • No credits offered.
  • Receive Forest Pest First Detector eBulletin with news and volunteer opportunities.
  • Invitations to summer workshops and gatherings.
About the course

Free, Self-Paced, 4 Week, On-line Course

The free training focuses on detecting invasive forest insects and diseases and how to educate others about their impact on forest health.

  • Content: 8 sections with videos. Includes optional live webinars and exercises.
  • Requirements: Needs access to internet.
  • Finish at your own pace.
  • Course moderated for 4 weeks, access to materials until year-end.
By the end of this course, participants will be able to:
  • Understand threats from invasive pests to forest health and wildlife.
  • Find signs and common pests like emerald ash borer and spotted lanternfly.


  • Use for information and reporting.

Take Action

  • Join community volunteer efforts against forest pests.
  • Receive Forest Pest First Detector eBulletin with news and volunteer opportunities.

Course Schedule

  • Course moderated March 16th to April 13th
  • Access to materials until end of 2024
  • 4 Optional Live Webinars:
    • March 19, 12-1pm: Welcome and Accessing Course
    • March 21, 7-8pm: Beech Leaf Disease and Forest Health
    • April 2, 7-8 pm: Treating Ash on Trails for Emerald Ash Borer
    • April 10, 7-8pm: Taking Action
Forest pest first detectors field trip. Huntington


Forest Pest First Detectors Course For Outdoor Recreationists


Registration has closed for the spring 2024 course.



Contact Ginger Nickerson at or 802-656-4831.

Getting an Extension Foundation Account

This online course is hosted on the national Extension Foundation online campus at

To access the course, you must have an Extension Foundation account.

If you do not have either:

If you have any problems or questions about creating your account, see the Extension Foundation's Campus Help Page.