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NotMISpecies webinar series

Invasive Species Frogbit
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

NotMISpecies webinar series

Invasive species pose a threat to Michigan's environment, economy, and sometimes even human health. What is at stake? What is being done? This webinar series will explore how agencies, universities and locally led organizations are working together to protect Michigan's natural resources through the Michigan Invasive Species Program. If you are concerned about the impacts of invasive species or interested in the techniques used to control them, join us as we examine species-specific actions, innovations in research and technology, and programs designed to help communities prevent and manage harmful invasive species. A question and answer period will follow each presentation.


Upcoming Webinars in the Series


April 11, 2024, 9:00 - 10:00 AM
Untangling the Knot: Identifying Effective Detection and Treatment Regimes for Invasive Knotweeds

Invasive knotweeds are a growing problem throughout Michigan. In the Upper Peninsula, a collaborative effort is underway to find the best methods for detecting and managing these aggressive plants. Dorthea Vander Bilt of Michigan Tech Research Institute, Michigan Technological University, Sigrid Resh of the Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area and MTU, and Matt Watkeys of Alger Conservation District will share the results of their recent research. The team studied various chemical, manual and integrated control methods on Japanese, Bohemian and giant knotweed species and employed remote sensing to detect and prioritize knotweed populations across the landscape.


May 21, 2024, 9:00 - 10:00 AM
A Herculean Task: Containing the First Hydrilla Infestation in Michigan

The mythic Hydra was a water serpent that sprouted two heads for every one cut off. In a similar fashion, hydrilla - said to be the most invasive aquatic plant in the world - can grow new plants from stem fragments, making it a formidable challenge to control. That challenge now faces Michigan, where hydrilla was recently detected for the first time. Join Billy Keiper from EGLE Water Resources Division to find out why hydrilla is such a threat, how the Michigan Invasive Species Program is working to eradicate it, and what you can do to help identify and report it.


June 25, 2024, 9:00 - 10:00 AM
Invading Classrooms: Empowering Students to Take Action on Invasive Species

If you’re looking for a successful model for infusing invasive species education in the classroom, Lake Superior State University’s Beth Christiansen has one. “Invading Classrooms and Communities” brings together students, teachers, natural resource mentors, and staff from LSSU’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education to conduct hands-on research into local invasive species issues. Join Christiansen to learn how this collaboration has fostered local, student-led stewardship projects to raise awareness and inspire action in communities across Northern Michigan.


Recorded webinars in this series:

I Wash My Bottom, Do You? Engaging the Boating Industry in AIS Prevention (recorded 3/21/24, 36 min)
In 2021, the Michigan Boating Industries Association got on board with state efforts to help boaters understand their role in stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species. With help from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program, MBIA launched its Boaters Prevent AIS Initiative. Join MBIA’s Amanda Wendecker to learn how an industry push, along with an eye-catching campaign has helped engage thousands of boaters across the state. After registering, you will receive an email from "EGLE Outreach" with a link for you to use to join the webinar.

What’s the damage? Ecology and Effects of Invasive European Frog-bit in the St. Marys River  (recorded 2/07/24, 61 min)
European frog-bit was first detected in southeast Michigan in 1996 and has since spread along the coastal areas of lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan and to some inland lakes. Kevin Kapuscinski, associate professor and assistant director of research at Lake Superior State University's Center for Freshwater Research and Education, has been studying the aquatic invasive plant and its effects on native ecosystems and water quality since 2019. He will share what’s been learned about plant reproduction, removal efforts and impacts based on research in the St. Marys River in the Upper Peninsula.

Dirt Never Hurt, but Invasive Species Do – Engaging ORVers to Stop Invasive Spread (recorded 1/23/24, 58 min)
In the off-roading world, a muddy 4x4 is a badge of honor, but dirt, mud and trail debris also can carry invasive plant fragments and seeds from one beautiful landscape to another. When the North Country Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area staff set their sights on educating motorized trail users about the importance of cleaning their vehicles, the question was, “How?” Vicki Sawicki, NCCISMA program coordinator, and technician Zach Peklo will share some unique approaches to reaching this transient and fast-moving audience and helping them embrace the beauty of clean rides.

Must You Find Another Shrubbery? Understanding the Impacts of Invasive Box Tree Moth in Michigan (recorded 11/07/23, 50 min)
Box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) was first detected in Michigan in fall 2022. This invasive pest, native to East Asia, poses a major threat to the boxwood plant, an ornamental shrub that is a valuable part of the U.S. (and Michigan) nursery and horticultural industry. Join Susie Iott, MDARD invasive species program specialist, to learn more about identification, impacts and the state’s response to limit the spread of this invasive pest.

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Choosing Resilient Trees for Tomorrow’s Urban Environments (recorded 10/03/23, 62 min)
Ash, elm and chestnut trees once were as common in cities as the streets that bear their names. Our canopy today is much less diverse due to insects, disease, invasive species and poor species selection. Lawrence Sobson, DNR urban forester and partnership coordinator, will share examples of ideal tree species, how to assess urban sites and provide the information you need ensure the trees you choose can live for the next 100 years.

Why, Oh Why Won’t They Clean, Drain and Dry? Understanding Impediments to Boater and Angler Behavior Change (recorded 8/10/23, 61 min)
Aquatic invasive species continue to be spread by boaters and anglers, primarily by those who travel between waterways without cleaning their equipment. Well, why aren’t people cleaning when we know the risks of spread? Carrie Meier from Daniel Hayes’ lab in the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife interviewed a thousand boaters and anglers to understand just that. Meier will share what was learned about motivations and barriers to equipment cleaning, perceptions of invasive species spread and other interesting results.

Can this moth help save monarchs? Swallow-wort biological control efforts in Michigan (recorded 7/13/23, 61 min)
Invasive swallow-wort vines, kin to native milkweed plants, are disrupting the life cycle of monarch butterflies. Hypena opulenta, a defoliating moth that can only develop on invasive swallow-worts, was discovered in Ukraine and is now approved for field releases in North America. Marianna Szucs from the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University will describe research efforts to establish this moth in Michigan, and the importance of climate match and genetic diversity of the biocontrol agent.

Life’s a beech! Another disease is threatening Michigan’s majestic giants (recorded 6/14/23, 59 min)
Beech leaf disease was first detected in Michigan in 2022, raising concern about the future of the state’s 37 million beech trees, already decimated by beech bark disease. Join Simeon Wright, DNR forest health specialist, to learn about the potential impacts this new disease might have on Michigan’s forests, what’s being done to address it, and how to spot the symptoms of beech leaf disease on your trees.  

To infinity...and beyond (beauty)! Highlighting a statewide ornamental invasive plant outreach program (recorded 5/25/23, 56 min)
Did you know that many invasive plants in natural areas originally arrived as ornamental garden plants? That's why the Go Beyond Beauty program recognizes garden professionals and community members who have committed not to sell or use high-priority ornamental invasive plants. Shelly Stusick, program specialist at Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network, will provide an overview of the recently expanded Go Beyond Beauty program and highlight the benefits of partnering with local nurseries, garden centers and concerned citizen groups to provide ornamental invasive species education.Go Beyond Beauty program recognizes garden professionals and community members who have committed not to sell or use high-priority ornamental invasive plants. Shelly Stusick, program specialist at Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network, will provide an overview of the recently expanded Go Beyond Beauty program and highlight the benefits of partnering with local nurseries, garden centers and concerned citizen groups to provide ornamental invasive species education.

Vampires of the Great Lakes: A review of the binational sea lamprey control program (recorded 4/25/23, 61 min)
The sea lamprey is often depicted as the poster child for invasive species in Michigan. With rows of teeth in their circular mouths, these parasitic fish attach themselves to larger sportfish and literally suck out their blood and internal fluids! Join Ross Shaw, communications and policy associate with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, to learn more about the fascinating history of this species and the multi-faceted control program that keeps their populations in check.

Rowing the boat: The Michigan Invasive Species Program 2022 year in review (recorded 3/21/23, 57 min)
The hearty crew of staff, partners and volunteers that make up the MISP navigated through some rough waters in 2022 with new detections of beech leaf disease and spotted lanternfly in the state, but they also managed to make a lot of headway. The program’s communications coordinator, Joanne Foreman, will highlight response efforts, prevention, outreach and survey work undertaken in 2022 to protect Michigan’s natural resources from the effects of invasive species.

Lobster mobsters: An update on Michigan’s red swamp crayfish response (recorded 2/07/23, 60 min)
Though sometimes called “mini-lobsters,” invasive red swamp crayfish are anything but sweet. Once they show up in an ecosystem, they quickly take over, leaving little or nothing for the locals. Dr. Lucas Nathan, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Michigan DNR, is intent on turning the tide of infestation in southeast Michigan. Join him to hear about recent advances in research and management of this combative crustacean.

If you can’t beat ‘em, find something that will eat ‘em: Biological control for invasive knotweeds (recorded 1/18/23, 61 min)
When infestations of invasive species become too large to control chemically and mechanically, biological control can be a cost-effective alternative. Marianna Szucs from the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University will provide a brief background on the practice of classical biological control and share her lab’s efforts to establish two host races of the knotweed psyllid (jumping plant lice) that are adapted to different knotweed species.

Treat me right! Rules, regulations and best practices for controlling aquatic invasive species in Michigan's inland lakes (recorded 11/10/22, 61 min)
Anyone who has wondered about what can (or can't) be done about aquatic invasive species is encouraged to join Eric Calabro, Environmental Quality Analyst with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to learn more about state regulations and options for physical and mechanical AIS control. Find out when a permit is needed, what to consider when choosing a control method, and best management practices to ensure a safe and effective treatment.

There's a lamprey in my classroom! Infusing invasive species education into statewide programs (recorded 10/6/22, 59 min)
The Department of Natural Resources' education team connects Michiganders to the outdoors in many ways - providing a natural network for invasive species information. From visitor centers and campground programs to live virtual classroom sessions, DNR educators create programs that connect families and students with the outdoors. Whether you're an educator, a parent or someone who enjoys learning, Tracy Page, DNR aquatic education coordinator, will explain how to take advantage of these educational programs as you travel the state, or even in your own home or classroom.

Yooper Troopers: Lessons learned controlling Phragmites in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (recorded 9/22/22, 60 min)
Once you know what Phragmites looks like, it seems to be everywhere along roadsides and shorelines. It even can be found in the background in scenes from major movies. Though this invasive plant seems to be widespread in Michigan, there are areas where it's still scarce, like the Upper Peninsula. Join Nick Cassel, Executive Director of the U.P. Resource Conservation and Development Council, to learn how partners in the U.P. Phragmites Coalition are working together to find and control infestations, and how their work can help you, regardless of where you are in the state.

Not in my backyard! Managing invasives with help from CISMAs (recorded 7/27/22, 59 min)
Are invasive plants taking over your landscape? Find out how you can take control. Vicki Sawicki of North Country CISMA and Elise Desjarlais of Lake to Lake CISMA will share identification tips and demonstrate treatment tricks for common invasives including garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed and several invasive shrubs. Learn the importance of monitoring, retreatment and restoring beneficial vegetation after invasive species removal and how to get additional resources from your local cooperative invasive species management area.

Didymo: What you need to know (recorded 6/09/22, 59 min)
The December 2021 discovery of didymo, an aquatic nuisance algae species, in Michigan's Upper Manistee River is a cause for concern for all river and stream users. Dr. Ashley Moerke of Lake Superior State University will provide an overview of didymo's ecology, potential impacts on cold water organisms, and what LSSU researchers are doing to to better understand spread, impacts and potential triggers of didymo nuisance blooms. Moerke will be joined by staff from the Departments of Natural Resources and Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to answer questions and discuss techniques to help prevent further spread.

Clean it up, drain it out, dry it off: Boating hygiene for the 21st century (recorded 5/12/22, 59 min)
Protecting Michigan's waters from aquatic invasive species is as simple as Clean, Drain, Dry - but just how easy is it? Watch Kelsey Bockelman from Michigan State University Extension and Kevin Walters from Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy provide live demonstrations of each step in the process. The team will share watercraft decontamination essentials using basic tools like towels and brushes and display the features and operation of a trailer-mounted mobile boat washing system.

New name, familiar pest: Preparing for Lymantria dispar (formerly known as Gypsy moth) (recorded 4/14/2022, 75 min)
Join an expert panel to explore how Lymantria dispar (formerly Gypsy moth) became a naturalized resident in Michigan's forests. Dr. Deborah McCullough from Michigan State University, Dr. Steven Katovich of the USDA Forest Service, Susie Lott of MDARD and DNR's James Wieferich will cover the unusual history of this pest in the United States and here in Michigan, and what you can do to reduce some of the unpleasant impacts of an outbreak. You'll learn tips to help stressed trees recover from defoliation and options to help reduce the nuisance around your home.

Step aboard Michigan's Clean Boats, Clean Waters grant program (recorded 3/24/2022, 59 min)
Looking for resources to help your community protect a local water body from aquatic invasive species? The Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program provides $1k - $3k grants annually for groups interested in aquatic invasive species prevention through increased boater education and awareness. Kelsey Bockelman and Paige Filice from Michigan State University Extension and Kevin Walters from Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will reveal 2022 CBCW award recipients, share information on past projects and help your group prepare to apply for a CBCW grant in 2023. 

The AIS-Team: Conservation officers on a mission to prevent invasive species (recorded 2/16/2022, 62 min)
Whether it's tracking invasive species imports or making sure boaters "Clean, Drain and Dry," conservation officers play a key role in Michigan's Invasive Species Program. Corporal Nick Torsky of the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division's Great Lakes Enforcement Unit will discuss the unit's role in the battle against aquatic invasive species. Join Corporal Torsky to learn more about enforcement of boating and bait-related regulations, oversight of Michigan's organisms-in-trade, interagency cooperation across the Great Lakes Basin, and some recent investigations that highlight the Department's enforcement efforts.

Dive into the gene pool: Using environmental DNA to detect invasive species (recorded 1/25/2022, 60 min)
How can you find an aquatic invasive species that you can't see? You sample the water where it might be and search for its DNA instead! Join Nick Frohnauer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Kim Scribner and John Robinson from Michigan State University to learn about this fascinating technique that researchers are using to detect invasive carp and other aquatic invasive species before they become established in the Great Lakes region.

Woolly bully: A new invasive adelgid to watch for in Michigan (recorded 11/10/2021, 62 min)
Since invasive balsam woolly adelgids (Adelges piceae) arrived in North America in the early 20th century, the tiny insects have killed countless fir trees in the northeast, west and southeast. In August, the invasive insect was detected in Michigan. Since then, the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Natural Resources have been working to protect native balsam firs and popular Fraser and concolor firs, mainstays of the state's Christmas tree industry. Join MDARD's Robert Miller to learn about identification, potential environmental threats and the state's efforts to eradicate balsam woolly adelgid.

Just do it! Learn invasive plant removal skills at stewardship workdays(recorded 10/21/2021, 60 min)
Want some hands-on experience in identifying and managing invasive plants? Michigan's state parks volunteer stewardship workdays provide a great opportunity to get your hands dirty removing invasive species while learning about special habitat areas in need of protection. DNR natural resource stewards Kelsey Dillon and Emily Leslie will share information about the program, how you can get involved and how volunteers and park staff work year-round to preserve your favorite places for future generations.

Fowl play: Protecting Michigan's Wetland Wonders from invasives (recorded 9/15/2021, 61 min)
Important habitats like Michigan's managed waterfowl hunt areas are high priorities for invasive species management. Whether you're a hunter, a bird watcher, or just get egg-cited about ducks and geese, you will be amazed by the techniques used to manage and restore some of Michigan's prime waterfowl areas. Join DNR wildlife biologists Jeremiah Heise and Zach Cooley as they share their experiences managing Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area and Pointe Mouillee State Game Area in Southeast Michigan.

Hey! What's that in your backyard? An introduction to Michigan's Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (recorded 7/27/2021, 54 min)
Wouldn't it be great if there were a local resource you could go to for help with invasive species on your property? Spoiler alert: there is! Michigan is home to 22 Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas, or CISMAs, that are on the front line for prevention, detection, and control of invasive infestations. Katie Grzesiak, Nick Cassel, and Fallon Chabala, representatives from the Michigan Invasive Species Coalition, will discuss what a CISMA is, how they can help with management of invasives on your property, and the benefits of partnering with your local CISMA.

Big, hungry fish: What's being done to prevent invasive bighead, silver and black carp from entering the Great Lakes (recorded 6/24/2021, 54 min)
Silver carp jumping into boats. Fishing nets full of bighead carp. Could this be the fate of the Great Lakes? Currently, there is no evidence of any live bighead, silver, or black carp, commonly called Asian carp, in the Great Lakes. Michigan continues to play an active role in regional collaboration to protect the Great Lakes from this potential invasion. DNR Senior Water Policy Advisor Tammy Newcomb will explain the threat posed by these invasive fish, current monitoring and surveillance programs, and Michigan's partnership with Illinois and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide a long-term solution to protect the Great Lakes.

Dynamite! And other tools to protect Michigan's state park trees (recorded 5/25/2021, 55 min)
For most people, camping and trees go together. Sitting in the shade, watching squirrels run about, and using branches as makeshift clotheslines are all part of the experience. Keeping trees healthy is a critical component of state park management, and staff use a variety of tools (including explosives!) to control invasive insects and diseases. Join us for a blazing good time with Heidi Frei, DNR Parks and Recreation Division forest health specialist, who will share what's affecting our trees and how you can help protect your favorite parks.

Not in MI waters: Responding to watch list aquatic plants in Michigan (recorded 4/20/2021, 62 min)
What happens when a new invasive plant is found in Michigan waters? That's when a special team of biologists and technicians grab their waders, load their boats and get to work. Find out about the science of early detection and response (EDR), who is involved, and how Michigan's aquatic invasive plant EDR initiative responds to emerging issues in waters across the state. Presenter Bill Keiper, an aquatic biologist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, will share his field experience working with partners to control European frog-bit, parrot feather and other recently introduced aquatic invasive plants. A question and answer period will follow.

Why spotted lanternfly? Assessing the potential threat of invasive species to Michigan (recorded 3/25/2021, 63 min)
Spotted lanternfly was added to Michigan's invasive species watch list in 2018. What makes this colorful insect a threat to our state? What can be done to prevent it? Learn how local and national collaboration helps Michigan's Invasive Species Program determine which species are real threats and then prepare for their potential arrival. Hear from presenter Rob Miller, an invasive species prevention and response specialist for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development who is leading Michigan's spotted lanternfly response.

Ahoy, Boaters! Resources to help prevent the introduction and spread of AIS (recorded 2/16/2021, 64 min)
Recreational boating, paddling and water sports are extremely popular in Michigan, but they also can introduce and spread aquatic invasive species in Michigan's lakes, rivers and streams. Fortunately, the Clean Boats, Clean Waters and MI Paddle Stewards programs are here to help. With free classes, signage, outreach materials and grants, both programs serve as resources for boaters, recreational groups, local communities and property owners working to keep Michigan's waters free from invasive species. Presenters Paige Filice, Natural Resources Educator at Michigan State University Extension, and Mary Bohling, Extension Educator at Michigan Sea Grant, will share resources and information about their programs and answer questions.

Hemlock rescue! Collaborating to stop the spread of hemlock woolly adelgid (recorded 1/22/21, 63 min)
Hemlock woolly adelgid has killed hundreds of thousands of hemlock trees in eastern states, including significant areas in the Appalachian and Great Smoky mountains. When infestations began spreading in West Michigan, a team of technicians went to work to "hold the line" through rigorous survey and treatment of infested trees in an effort to save Michigan's 170 million eastern hemlocks from the same fate. Join Drew Rayner, coordinator of the West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, to learn how federal, state and local resources are coming together to save Michigan's hemlock resource, one tree at a time.

Delicious but dangerous: Responding to the Michigan red swamp crayfish invasion (recorded 11/17/20, 63 min)
The newest crayfish invader in Michigan draws a spectrum of opinions. Although many associate red swamp crayfish with crawfish boils, they are also one of the world's most widespread invasive crayfish species and can have a range of negative impacts. Join us to learn about the risks red swamp crayfish pose, the ongoing response efforts in Michigan and the research underway to improve control efforts. Presenters Dr. Lucas Nathan, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Michigan DNR, and Dr. Brian Roth, associate professor at Michigan State University will share their field experience and answer questions.

Responding to the threat of invasive grass carp in Lake Erie: How science focuses action (recorded 10/22/20, 70 min)
You've probably heard of the invasive bighead and silver carp outside of Chicago, but did you know there's already an invasive carp species in the Great Lakes? Get the real story about grass carp in Lake Erie and the multi-jurisdictional response efforts underway to locate and remove them. We will discuss how fishery biologists make strategic decisions and how they implement those decisions to effectively control grass carp. The speakers for this inaugural webinar are Dr. John Dettmers, director of fisheries management at the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and Dr. Kelly Robinson, assistant professor at Michigan State University.