Jessica is off to Cali!

Jessica Strickland, Invasive Species Program Coordinator, has left the Wildflower Center and headed out west to California.  Jessica spent over a year managing the Invaders of Texas Citizen Scientist Program, the Sentinel Pest Network and provided support on several other Plant Conservation-related projects. Her departure leaves room for a new hire, and qualified applicants should submit an application through the UT system by Monday August 5th.  The coordinator will manage all aspects of the Wildflower Center's Invasive Species programs including the Invaders of Texas Program, the Sentinel Pest Network, general Program Administration and serve as the department's GIS specialist.

Learn More.

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2013 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference
October 21-24, 2013
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, Texas

This October, the Texas Invasive Plant & Pest Council and the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species will be co-hosting the fifth statewide conference on invasive species at Sam Houston State University in Huntsvillle, Texas. Building on previous conferences, the 2013 conference will be a professional level meeting including keynotes, concurrent sessions, posters, field trips and symposia.

This conference is designed to serve scientists, land managers, state and federal agencies, local governments, the green industry and other stakeholders interested in invasive species issues in the state of Texas.

Click here to register.
Click here to submit an abstract. Deadline is Sept. 20, 2013.

Invasive Plant Species as Biofuels
EPA Approved

This July the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a final rule allowing Arundo donax (giant reed) and Pennisetum purpureum (napier grass), two well-documented invasive species, to count towards the Renewable Fuel Standard.  In the rule, the EPA included additional requirements to help minimize the potential for these species to become invasive, including risk mitigation plans and third party auditors for producers.  
These requirements were added in response to strong opposition of the bill, first proposed in January 2012.  It was publicly opposed by more than 100 state, local, and national groups, including the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).
Read the complete final rule or download a fact sheet describing the rule.

University of Texas Invasive Species Program Funded

Scientists at the University of Texas (UT) recently received a $2.7 million grant to establish an Invasive Species Program to study exotic invasive pests such as fire ants, tawny crazy ants and cactus moths. 

The six-year Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation grant will enable researchers at the College of Natural Sciences’ Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) to study the biology of invasive pests and seek novel and sustainable approaches to control and manage these species. Read More.
More News

Hello Zebra Mussels, Goodbye Texas Lakes: Wins Best Communication Campaign Award

The Texas Parks and Wildlife zebra mussel public awareness campaign won the 2013 Best Communications Campaign Award from the Association for Conservation Information

Online Invasive Species Management Training Program - Recruiting Students for Fall 2013
Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, North Carolina is offering the first college-level online program to train invasive species field managers. For more information about the program and coursework please contact Randy G. Westbrooks, Ph.D, and contact Rebecca Westbrooks for information regarding enrollment.

Urban Forest Stewart Series -  Registration for 2013 Series Now Open
The City of Austin Urban Forestry Program and TreeFolks present the Urban Forest Steward Series.  This series of workshops focuses on building and protecting the urban canopy of Central Texas, with the goal to equip a cadre of citizens that will help gain ground in rebuilding urban forests through education and volunteer leadership.  Class dates for 2013: August 10 & 24, and September 14 & 28 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm at the AWU Center for Environmental Research at Hornsby Bend. - Learn More/Register.

City of Austin Urban Forest Grant Program: Now Accepting Grant Proposals
The City of Austin's Urban Forest Grant Program, established to promote tree conservation and other projects that benefit Austin's urban forest, has funding available to help preserve and grow Austin's canopy of trees.  Projects eligible for funding include tree planting and preservation, education, public service announcements, disease control, and management of invasive species. Public, non-profit or private entities such as businesses, governmental agencies, academic and private institutions, homeowners or neighborhood associations, youth groups, civic groups and non-profit organizations may apply for funding. - Apply Now!

Job Announcement - National Program Leader (Invasive Pests of Crops)
The USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Office of National Programs, Crop Production and Protection in Beltsville, MD, is seeking a permanent, full-time, National Program Leader for Invasive Pests of Crops.  Complete information and application procedures for vacancy ARS-X13N-0052 may be obtained at:, and applications must be received by Monday, August 12, 2013. 

Job Announcement - Exotic Plant Management in Florida/Caribbean
The National Park Service's Florida/Caribbean Exotic Plant Management Team (EPMT) is looking for seasonal invasive plant technicians.  The mobile crew will assist in the management of invasive plants on 15 National Park Service Units in Florida and the Caribbean.  The job dates are from October through March. -  Learn More/Apply.

If you would like your invasive species event or news listed in the next iWire, please send the details to



Homestretch Volunteers Needed! 
Monitor Invasives on City Land

Thanks to those of you that attended a invasive plant monitoring training session hosted by the City of Austin and the Invaders of Texas Program.  Monitoring on City lands has been ongoing since June and now we are in the home stretch of gathering this summer’s data, so WE NEED YOU TO VOLUNTEER!  

August monitoring dates are posted, so pick the date/location that fits your schedule and register.  All volunteers will recieve a hard copy of the Invasive Plant Volunteer Field Guide.



Citizen Science Workshops

Sentinel Pest Network & Invasive Species Workshops
Invaders of Texas program workshops train volunteers to become "citizen scientists" to identify, detect and report invasive plant species.  Workshops can include sessions on the Sentinel Pest Network, which serves to increase the probability of early detection of Emerald Ash Borer, Cactus Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other pests of regulatory significance.  Workshops can be tailored to meet the interests of your volunteer group, and supplementary session examples include an introduction to the TX Invaders mobile application and the Eradicator Calculator, a feature on designed to help organize and track volunteer-based eradication efforts.  

Workshop Schedule:

Saturday September 7th, 2013
Location: Jesse H. Jones Park and Nature Center (Humble, TX)
Contact: Rose Belzung

For more information or to request a workshop, please visit our Workshop Page.