Why do we need educators?

We need educators because we need more First Detectors. First Detector educators recruit and train individuals to become First Detectors.


First Detector Educators are...

First Detectors who teach FD workshops. They may be educators, diagnosticians, plant health care professionals, or conservationists and they act as force multipliers who help build the First Detector network.

What Educators Do

First Detector educators conduct face-to-face First Detector training programs in their communities. They explain the impacts introduced plant pests have on our enviroment and economy and why early detection of introduced species is so important. They teach people how to recognize suspect target pests and how to submit samples to their local diagnostic lab. They explain how the program works and the role First Detectors play in the early detection scenario. They should explain how individuls can get involved in the program as well as expectations of First Detectors.


The First Detector program started in 2003 as a national train-the-trainer volunteer program. Scripted presentations are available for download that you can deliver at your own First Detector training workshop. We also offer a variety of print resources that you can download to distribute at your training.

As a FD Educator you can register your training program on our training site and when it is complete you can upload participant information into our First Detector database.

How to become a First Detector Educator

There are two main ways to become a First Detector Educator. If you are an educator and have participated in a First Detector or Sentinel Plant Network training program OR if you are an educator and have successfully completed the First Detector online course and special topic modules then you can request a workshop coordinator role or state coordinator role.

If you are not an educator, the Training and Education committee will consider individual requests for educator access. Please email Rachel McCarthy for more information.