Minnesota Master Naturalist

Course Registration

IT - Instructor Institute - FORTIFY Knowledge, Action, Habitats

Instructor Institute - FORTIFY Knowledge, Action, website

300 Amos Owen Ln
Mankato, MN 56001

In a rare confluence of funding and opportunity, you don’t want to miss this hands on, engaging, indoor/outdoor workshop designed especially for those who teach about invasive species in any capacity.

This is your chance to fortify your technical knowledge and gain teaching resources to help you spread awareness about the impacts of invasive species. For this class we will focus on invasive plants such as Palmer amaranth, Oriental bittersweet, European buckthorn, and more, as well as Minnesota's invasive aquatics such as Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, and starry stonewort.

Our Institute will begin at 11 am on Thursday at the Floyd Roberts Jr. Pavilion in Mankato, Minnesota where we will hear expert speakers and practitioners explain invasion ecology and best practices for reporting and managing Minnesota’s invasive species. A variety of teaching resources (curricula! 3-D models!) you can use in your setting will be available for review. Thursday evening we hop on a bus and visit nearby Madison Lake to view some aquatic invaders and hear about management efforts.

On Friday, we head out on a field trip to Minneopa State Park and other local sites in varying stages of terrestrial invasion and recovery. After lunch and a wrap up, the workshop concludes at 2 pm Friday.

Because we have *two* sources of grant funds much of each attendee's cost will be subsidized. Your $95 fee includes four meals, overnight hotel lodging (double occupancy), two field trips, expert instruction, networking with peers and invasive-species related swag. Such a deal!

Who should attend: educators of any type who teach or train about invasive species, nature, conservation, or invasive species control in Minnesota, e.g., Master Naturalists, professionals, school teachers, nature center staff, non-profit staff (e.g., Audubon, “Friends of” groups), and other staff or volunteers. Basic plant identification skills will be beneficial.

NOTE: If you don't need a hotel room or if you wish to make your own arrangements, you may use the coupon code NOLODGE18 when registering for a $45 discount off the registration fee. Please be aware that if you use this coupon code, NO LODGING WILL BE RESERVED OR PAID FOR BY THE INSTRUCTOR INSTITUTE so don’t forget to make your own arrangements!

Lodging provided by this Institute is based on double occupancy, you may specify roommate preference, if known, during registration or make other arrangements at your own expense.

The course cost is $95 and includes course manuals and supplies.

Course Dates:

Meeting from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on:

Instructor Information

Andrea Lorek Strauss

Andrea Lorek Strauss grew up playing outdoors at every opportunity. Today, she is an environmental educator with the University of Minnesota Extension with an undergraduate degree in Education and Communication Arts, and a MSEd in Curriculum and Instruction/Outdoor Education. Past work gigs include 9 years with the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN, 2.5 years with the Prairie Ecology Bus Center in southwest Minnesota, and various naturalist roles in the Boston area, northern Minnesota, and New York state.

Dawn Littleton

Dawn Littleton is the invasive plants program coordinator, working from the University of Minnesota's Rochester Regional Extension Office. Dawn has been a dedicated volunteer for years through the Master Naturalist program, and she is a co-founder of the Friends of Indian Heights Park Neighborhood Association in Rochester. As a volunteer she has been awarded several grants from the National Park Service and the Outdoor Heritage Fund for ecological restoration in urban areas. Her biggest adventure last year was finding out that dozens of really beautiful and vanilla-smelling flower spikes growing in the restored quarry at Indian Heights Park were not invasive plants but a wetland orchid called Nodding Ladies Tresses. In 2016, Dawn followed her passion shifted careers to invasive plants from her position at the Mayo Clinic where she has been an assistant professor of medical education.

Sponsor Information

University of MN Extension


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