Become an Invasive Strike Force Surveyor!

June 15, 2022
Krysti Sabins
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Become an Invasive Strike Force Surveyor!


Help find the next problem invaders that threaten our region's natural areas...

Become an Invasives Strike Force (ISF) citizen science volunteer!


We are excited to announce and unroll our newly refined ISF survey program for 2022! Many of you have helped contribute to our standard, intermediate, and blockbuster surveys that were the hallmark of our ISF survey program for the past 10 years. This robust decadal data set has served as the foundation necessary to map and manage both the common and some key emerging invasive species along with our region’s trail system.  

The next iteration of our citizen science survey programming will now exclusively target species that have been identified as high priority species by Lower Hudson PRISM partners and other regional and state agency collaborators.

In 2022, ISF surveyors will be identifying and reporting on:

  • Beech leaf disease (BLD) and its possible association with invasive jumping worms

  • Spotted lanternfly and its primary host, tree of heaven

  • Monthly rotating invasive plant featured as part of our EcoQuest Challenge survey program

This list of species will allow our staff and partners to rapidly respond to early detection reports and set the management agenda for 2023.  The citizen science reporting structure will be similar to years past but less labor-intensive – it will feel a little more like an exploratory hike! 

As an Invasives Strike Force Surveyor volunteer...

  • You will be required to attend a species ID training to learn how to identify these 5 invasive species

  • You will also attend a second training on how to collect and report data for the ISF including how to use two nature reporting apps- iMapInvasives and iNaturalist

  • After completing training, you will be assigned to a trail section (~2 miles long).

  • You then are free to explore your trail while identifying and mapping the invasive species you learned in training. This data collection can be completed within one outing or over several trips until you feel confident that you have identified all of the target species along your trail - but should be completed by the end of the summer.

  • After you have completed your trail section, you can ask to have another section assigned to you. You can map as many trail sections during the season as you have time for.

We would love to have your help! See below for the required training sessions + questionnaire. We are so excited to begin!


Invasives Strike Force Training Resources and Webinars

Watch Invasives Strike Force Surveyor Training Workshop Webinar- Part 1 (Species ID)

Description: This video is the first of two required training videos for the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Lower Hudson PRISM's Invasives Strike Force Survey Program. This required course helps Invasives Strike Force volunteers to identify four high-priority invasive species (beech leaf disease, spotted lanternfly, tree of heaven and invasive jumping worms) as well as one emerging invasive plant that rotates depending on the month you begin surveying. For the month of June, that plant is Japanese spiraea. As trained volunteers, you will then conduct monitoring along assigned trail sections that are convenient to your own home and according to a schedule that works for you! 

Watch Invasives Strike Force Surveyor Training Workshop Webinar- Part 2 (Survey Protocols)

Description: This video outlines the data collection and reporting protocols for the Invasives Strike Force Survey Program organized by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Lower Hudson PRISM. This webinar is a combination of a live Powerpoint presentation and taped video demonstrations of the field survey, data recording and data reporting process. Once completed with this part of your training, you will officially be ready to take on an assignment and become an official ISF surveyor in 2022!

ISF Survey Species QuickID Guide:

Key features and photos of all the species on the 2022 ISF Survey species list

ISF Survey Field Data Sheet:

This is a .pdf of the data sheet you will need to take with you into the field if you have volunteered as an ISF Standard surveyor. Please take at least 5 copies of this document with you when you go out!

June's Rotating Invasive Plant Field ID Video: Japanese spiraea