Welcome to the Wisconsin First Detector Network!

The Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) is a citizen science network that empowers people to take action against invasive species through invasive species monitoring, management, and outreach. WIFDN provides training and resources through a combination of webinars, instructional videos, and hands-on workshops, in addition to providing volunteer opportunities to citizen scientists.


Report Volunteer Activities

It’s that time of year again! As we slide into the last part of the year, we’d like to celebrate all of your hard work. Click here to report your volunteer activities.

Who should report hours? If you have done any volunteer work related to invasive species, we ask you to report your hours! Even if you primarily volunteer for another organization (e.g. a Friends group or Master Gardeners), please report your hours to us. This allows us to get a sense of how much time people spend on invasive species efforts

What should I report? The form will ask you to report any hours you’ve spent volunteering on invasive species projects from January 1, 2017 to August 31, 2017. We will send another form at the end of the year to gather hours volunteered from September 1 – December 31, 2017. We will ask you to separate your volunteer hours into 3 categories:

  • management: for example, invasive species removal at your park or work done on your property
  • monitoring: for example, submitting reports of invasive species
  • outreach: for example, leading a local invasive species walk or teaching your neighbors about invasive species in their yards
In addition, we will ask you to estimate the number of miles you’ve traveled to complete your volunteer activities (this includes miles driven, ridden on a bicycle, or walked to reach your volunteer destination).

What if I can’t remember how many hours I’ve volunteered? That’s okay! We don’t expect that every person will have a detailed record of their volunteer hours. In this case, please estimate how many hours you’ve volunteered. An estimate is much more helpful to us than no report at all. We’d like to celebrate the hard work WIFDN participants have done, and we can’t do that unless people share what they have been doing!

GLEDN Monthly Challenge: September 2017

According to the meteorological calendar, summer is over, but according to the astronomical calendar, we still have 3 weeks of summer left. Either way, we’ve all had most of the summer to get acquainted with the GLEDN app (if you haven’t tried it yet, you can find step-by-step instructions here). This month’s GLEDN Challenge is nice and simple: submit 5 reports of any invasive species you observe in Wisconsin in the month of September. Reports submitted by Monday, October 2nd will be eligible. And remember, we’ll also take reports submitted via the EDDMapS website (tutorial here) or via email at WIFDNcoordinator@gmail.com.

Landowner Workshops in Calumet County: September 19th and 21st

WIFDN is joining Jeni Klein (Calumet County Terrestrial Invasive Species Coordinator) and Matt Rataczak (NRCS District Conservationist) for two landowner workshops in Calumet County. Join us on Tuesday, September 19th at Brillion Nature Center (Brillion) or Thursday, September 21st at Ledge View Nature Center (Chilton) to learn about using GLEDN and ISMTrack for private land management, land restoration methods, and cost-share programs for landowners working on invasive species removal and land restoration. The workshops cover the same material, so pick the date or location that works best for you! Each workshop is FREE and runs from 10 am – 12:30 pm. Please RSVP to Jeni Klein at 920-793-4007 or calumetinvasivespecies@co.calumet.wi.us.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, September 19th (10 am – 12:30 pm), Landowner Workshop: Managing Invasive Species on Your Land, Brillion Nature Center, Brillion. FREE, but RSVP to Jeni Klein (920-793-4007, calumetinvasivespecies@co.calumet.wi.us)

Thursday, September 21st (10 am – 12:30 pm), Landowner Workshop: Managing Invasive Species on Your Land, Ledge View Nature Center, Chilton. FREE, but RSVP to Jeni Klein (920-793-4007, calumetinvasivespecies@co.calumet.wi.us)

Wednesday, October 11th (9 am – 12 pm), Invasive Species I.D. and Monitoring Workshop, UW-Madison Arboretum, Madison

Learn more about WIFDN


A native Wisconsin prairie, one of the state’s most treasured natural resources and three invasive species – late blight, emerald ash borer, and brown marmorated stink bug.
Photos courtesy of Ice Age National Scenic Trail, UW Extension, WI DATCP, and Oregon Invasives Hotline

Invasive species are considered to be the number two threat to biodiversity, second only to habitat loss. The effects of invasive species are increasingly evident on Wisconsin’s landscape. Despite efforts by federal and state agencies, non-native insects, plants and diseases continue to establish and spread throughout our state, impacting our economy and environment. While some of these pests are here to stay, many others have not yet been found in Wisconsin, and still more are found at low enough levels that eradication may be possible. Efforts to prevent new introductions and to identify new infestations before they become well established are the best way to ensure the survival of many of Wisconsin’s iconic plants, animals, and ecosystems.

A volunteer removes a flower head from an invasive thistle. Image courtesy of the Catalina Island Conservancy

By joining Wisconsin First Detector Network, you will have access to online training resources brought to you by invasive species experts from across the state. Training topics include terrestrial and aquatic invasive species biology, identification, and reporting. We emphasize species of concern to Wisconsin (e.g. emerald ash borer, late blight, giant hogweed), but we also discuss general resources for other species. We invite participants who are already doing invasive species volunteer work in Wisconsin, as well as people who are looking for new volunteer opportunities.


Garlic mustard infests a forest understory Photo courtesy of Rick Gardner and Arc of Appalachia

Consider becoming a First Detector and help improve our network to minimize the impact and spread of invasive species in Wisconsin.

For more information
Anne Pearce
WIFDN Coordinator