First Detector, a program of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), equips a nationwide network of individuals to rapidly detect and report the presence of invasive, exotic plant pathogens, arthropods, nematodes, and weeds. Since 2003, over 17,500 participants have attended First Detector training sessions, and programs have been offered in all 50 states and each U.S. territory.
How it Works
In-person workshops and online e-learning modules equip First Detectors with the knowledge and skills needed to identify and report pests and pathogens.
2. Monitoring & Detecting
First Detectors use a variety of field resources - some found in e-learning modules or under the resources menu - to recognize invasive species in their region.
First Detectors follow species-specific protocol to rapidly report any invasive pest or plant pathogen occurrence either by online mapping or submitting a sample.
4. Confirming & Diagnosing
Experts rapidly review suspect samples. Follow the link below to learn more about the National Plant Diagnostic Network's screening practices!
Awareness: the first line of defense
Early discovery is imperative for eradicating or controlling the spread of invasive species, and First Detectors play an essential role in this operation. As an invasive species' population increases and spreads undetected, the resources necessary to combat its further spread increase exponentially and likelihood of eradication approaches impossible. With increases in international trade and travel accelerating the frequency of exotic pest introductions, we need as many people as possible monitoring for new pests so we can detect their presence early and reduce their total impact on our economy and environment. First Detectors are the eyes and ears of the detection process, helping safeguard our agricultural and natural plant resources.
General questions and comments may be directed to:
Outreach and Training Coordinator
For First Detector program and training information, please consult your Regional Training and Education Coordinator:
Great Plains Diagnostic Network (GPDN)
Jen Olsen, Oklahoma State University, Plant Disease & Insect Diagnostic Lab
firstname.lastname@example.org | (405) 744-9784
North Central Plant Diagnostic Network (NCPDN)
Lina Rodriguez, Iowa State University, Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic
email@example.com | (515) 294-0581
Northeast Plant Diagnostic Network (NEPDN)
Rachel McCarthy, Cornell University, Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology
firstname.lastname@example.org | (607) 255-7871
Southern Plant Diagnostic Network (SPDN)
Carrie Harmon, University of Florida, Department of Plant Pathology
email@example.com | (352) 392-1795
Western Plant Diagnostic Network (WPDN)
Tania Brenes-Arguedas, University of California-Davis, Department of Plant Pathology
firstname.lastname@example.org | (530) 754-2255