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Interpreting Invasive Species

Interpreting Invasive Species -

Identification, Prevention, Management
and Interpretive Media for Public Awareness.

As with all our courses you can start the course at any time and work through the course at your own speed.  The course registration includes my textbook on interprtive planning and my new Invasive Species Resource Interpretation Issue.

I got interested in interpreting invasive species from working with many different clients in developing invasive species management interpretive programs and media, from interpreting zebra mussels for the Army Corps of Engineers for their lakes, to interpreting invasive plants and insects for many parks and nature centers.  In doing the research for this course I was amazed at the huge number and diversity of invasive species, not just in North America but worldwide.

This course has several main topics to cover to help give you a better understanding of the diversity of invasive species - from natural areas to back yards and urban communities.

1.   What exactly is an invasive species?
2.   Where do/can they come from?
3.   Why were some invasive species originally brought here?
4.   Identification of some of the most common invasives in North America.
5.   Overview of invasive species - from plants to insects to birds to reptiles and more.
6.   How can we help prevent invasives from coming to our areas?
7.   How do we manage and get rid of the ones we have?
8.   How can we use interpretive media (panels, exhibits, brochures, web sites and live                                      programs) to interpret invasive species issues to our visitors?
9.   What can people do to help stop the spread of invasives?


Nine Units - $250.00 tuition,
2 CEU Unit Credits.

Unit One - What exactly is an invasive species? - There are plant and animal species that have been brought here by people for a variety of  reasons, like the European honey bee.          
So what's the difference between an introduced species   and an "invasive species"?

Unit Two - Where do/can they come from? In this unit we will look at just were and how the most common invasive species have come from.  This includes plants, animals,
insects and sea life.  And plants in your own back yard?

Unit Three - Why were some invasive species originally brought here? Some invasives were  brought here on purpose - like kudzu.  Why?  What other species were brought here
either on purpose or accident.  Any of those at your site or natural area - or  community?  How would you interpret this to your visitors?

Unit Four - Identification of some of the most common invasives in North America.  This list may surprise you.  Have a look through the resource guide to learn some of the
invasives you may have or know about.  How can you identify these to your visitors to make them able to identify invasives they may see in the park, natural area or even  in their own communities?  Make your list of your invasives at your site.

Unit Five - Overview of invasive species - from plants to insects to birds to reptiles and
This is a wider familiarization process to acquaint your with a wide birth of                                                         invasives you may have not been aware of.  Review the examples in the articles.  What
invasives were you NOT aware of that may, in fact, affect your site or community?  
What strategies can you think of to help visitors learn about some of these "surprises"?
Invaders?  If you live in Florida you may find them in your backyard eating your dog?

Unit Six - How can we help prevent invasives from coming to our areas?  For both your site invasisve species management and prevention program to interpreting this important
topic to your visitors, review and think about strategies (help from the readings) of
techniques to help prevent the spread of invasives from/to your site, to preventing the
introduction or spread of invasives to your visitors homes or communities.  What is
your proposed (or in operation) prevention plan?

Unit Seven - How do we manage and get rid of the ones we have?
This unit looks at
management of invasive "problems", from using volunteers to dig them out to use
of herbicides and other management removal (and prevention from re-
establishment) techniques.  Also dealing with insects and invasive water plants and
aquatic animals.  What's you agencies plan for invasive removals?

Unit Eight - How can we use interpretive media (panels, exhibits, brochures, web sites
and live programs) to interpret invasive species issues to our visitors?
This unit
will look at the variety of interpretive media and services you can use to help
visitors learn about invasive species and your site/agencies management strategies
for preventing or removing invasives associated with your park or site.  We will
look at developing an interpretive marketing/awareness strategy for your invasive
species management issues.

Unit Nine - What can people do to help stop the spread of invasives? This is your final Unit to think about your strategy for your park or heritage site to interpret to your visitors
or regional community the ways people, families, commercial firms, local parks and
garden shops can do to help educate the visitors/customers about preventing the
spread of invasive plants and wildlife (from gardens to boaters and anglers to any
person involved with the prevention of invasives into their habitats or resources).

If you're interested in taking this important resorce management course, click on the Pay Now button below to pay the course tuition and we'll get you started.

Prof John Veverka
Course Developer and Coach.

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