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Introduction to the Symposium: Invasive Plant Web-Accesible Databases and Volunteer Monitoring Programs

Madsen, J. D. (2009). Introduction to the Symposium: Invasive Plant Web-Accesible Databases and Volunteer Monitoring Programs. Weed Science Society of America 2009 Annual Meeting,. Orlando, FL.

Abstract

With the increased interest in the management of invasive plant species across the United States, public and private land managers have been looking for tools and resources to manage widespread invasive species and assistance from the federal government. One largely untapped resource for surveying the locations of invasive plant species are volunteers; people interested in the issue and willing to help, but not paid for their services. This symposium will highlight the federal efforts to develop programs for volunteers, such as the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) and the Invasive Plant Atlas of the Mid-South (IPAMS). These programs are regional in geographic scope, to better facilitate training of volunteers. Data from these databases are then shared through national and international networks and through partnerships with the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). In both cases, the programs were initially funded through USDA CSREES, as integrated research/extension projects. Once the data is collected, it can be shared with data across federal agencies and universities to provide a global view of invasive plant species spread, and provide additional data for local planning. Lastly, this data can be used to support local Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) efforts as part of the national strategy for managing invasive plant species, as envisaged in the National Invasive Species Council plan of action.


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