Mission of the National Plant Diagnostic Network

2021 update:

The online FD modules are currently offline. In the meantime, you can still review this module in PDF format and take the online quiz in order to obtain your First Detector certificate.

This module discusses the need for agricultural biosecurity, a brief history of high impact epidemics, the structure and function of the national network, and the role of First Detectors in the agriculture biosecurity system. Upon completion of the module, learners will have achieved the following learning objectives:

  • Explain what the National Plant Diagnostic Network is, why it was formed, and where to find your local NPDN lab.
  • Explain plant biosecurity and agricultural terrorism
  • Explain how invasive species come into the U.S.
  • Describe the role of the NPDN in crop biosecurity and the introduction of exotic pests.
  • Explain what a first Detector is
  • Give historical and current examples of invasive species and their impacts
  • Outline the role of the First Detector in early detection, sampling, and exercises.


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Asian longhorned beetle



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Content Revision (scripted presentation only): October 2013

Text Content Revision: Richard Hoenisch (University of California, Davis), Eric LeVeen (University of Florida) and Stephanie Stocks (University of Florida)

Technical Reviewers: Sharon Dobesh (GPDN Associate Director), Amy Dunfee (NCPDN Teaching and Education Coordinator), Rachel McCarthy (NEPDN, Education and Training Coordinator), and Gail Ruhl (Purdue University)

Content Revision (scripted presentation only): October 2009

Technical Review and Module Revision: Richard Hoenisch (University of California-Davis), Amanda Hodges (University of Florida)

Original Publication: April 2008 

Module Design/Technical Writer: Gerry Snyder with assistance from Buck Rowland (both Kansas State University) and Mary McKellar, Education and Training Coordinator, NEPDN, Cornell University 

Content Experts: Jim Stack (Kansas State University), Carrie Harmon (University of Florida), and Gerald Holmes (North Carolina State University) 

Technical Reviewers: Jim Stack (Kansas State University), Carrie Harmon (University of Florida), Gerald Holmes (North Carolina State University), Mary McKellar (Cornell University), Amanda Hodges (University of Florida), Richard Hoenisch (University of California-Davis), Marty Draper (USDA-NIFA) 

Original Additional Reviewers: Dale Baird (University of Illinois), Dotty Woodson (Texas A&M University), Annette Heisdorffer (University of Kentucky), Rick Cartwright (University of Arkansas)



Photo credit - Asian longhorned beetle: Joe Boggs, Ohio State University