Increasing invasive plant pest early detection through interagency first detector education.
The Collaborative and Enhanced First Detector Training program has expanded invasive species detection efforts by teaching participants to scout for, identify, and submit suspect exotic species samples. Workshops were delivered to agriculture professionals, master gardeners, and other Extension audiences. Topics included introduction pathways, regulatory agency procedures, identification of invasive pests or pathogens, monitoring procedures, and sample submission. Survey data indicated the intent of participants to augment detection efforts and the efficacy of Extension workshops in improving participants' perceptions of government agencies. Respondents perceived increases in knowledge related to particular invasive species, identification of potential future invaders, and sample submission. Other implications related to Extension programming on invasive species education are discussed.