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STOCKTON FWO: Invasive Species Training For Future Biologists
California-Nevada Offices , April 9, 2009
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Stockton Aquatic Nuisance Species Staff Andrea Kristof and Julie Wolford with UC Berkely students removing non-native plant species and revegatating with native species at Antioch Dunes, part of the San Francisco Wildlife Refuge Complex. (photo: Louis Terrazas, USFWS)
Stockton Aquatic Nuisance Species Staff Andrea Kristof and Julie Wolford with UC Berkely students removing non-native plant species and revegatating with native species at Antioch Dunes, part of the San Francisco Wildlife Refuge Complex. (photo: Louis Terrazas, USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Service staff and UC Berkely Students hard at work removing non-native species and making room for native plants. (photo: Louis Terrazas, USFWS)
Service staff and UC Berkely Students hard at work removing non-native species and making room for native plants. (photo: Louis Terrazas, USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Andrea Kristof, Stockton FWO
Invasive species management is an integral component of conservation biology.  Once established, invasive species proliferate rapidly, thereby outcompeting native organisms, altering food webs, and endangering ecosystems.

 

Unfortunately, the study of invasive species is often neglected in classroom settings.  In an effort to change this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Invasive Species Program is working with faculty at the University of California, Berkeley to offer Introduction to Invasive Species Biology and Management, a two unit course open to all undergraduates, in the spring semester of 2009.

 

This course will provide students with knowledge of the characteristics of invasive species, vectors of introduction and subsequent spread, ecological, economic, and recreational consequences as well as invasive species management: control and eradication programs.

 

During class meetings, students will have the opportunity to interact with regional biologists, who we have invited to guest speak.  In addition to weekly meetings, students will have the opportunity to participate in public education though the development of outreach materials, to observe the impact of invasive species in our regional ecosystems through field trips, and to participate in invasive species monitoring and management activities with local resource agencies. 

 

Some of the proposed field projects include invasive species removal and native buckwheat planting at Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, Invasive species removal and revegetation at Point Reyes and Yosemite National Parks.  We hope to add more field work to the schedule as we seek out additional opportunities.

 

We currently have an astounding 27 students enrolled in the course, ranging from freshman to seniors. The majority of the class has a solid educational background in biology, and all are very interested and enthusiastic. Their particular emphases within biology are quite diverse, including forestry, plant biology, zoology, environmental science, and even molecular biology.  Quite a diverse crowd, but I guess that's what an invasive species class should expect! For more information, contact Andrea Kristof at (209) 946-6400.


Contact Info: Paul Cadrett, 209-334-2968 x 312, paul_cadrett@fws.gov



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