Old Outreach and Education

Finding Starry Stonewort – Citizen Science Surveys

A primary objective of the Collaborative is to increase the number of citizen scientists who complete rake toss surveys to locate starry stonewort infestations. Though not full scientific surveys, the collection of basic information that describes where and how much starry stonewort is around the region is very important, providing the first steps to effective early detection and rapid response.


Proper identification of starry stonewort is critical to allow efficient location of infestations, and also to differentiate it from “look alike” native and invasive species.

Training is critical to proper identification and is available through FLI in several ways:

  • Training videos and presentations available in the library.
  • In person training with FLI staff (where available). Regional trainers are supported and trained by FLI or collaborators.
  • Training materials and identity sheets and guides are available in the Starry Stonewort Library.
  • Identity sheets and guides
  • How-to articles
  • A video
  • Reporting

    Reporting survey results can be done through the use of Survey123, Google Forms or Paper forms provided by FLI. After review, the results will be uploaded by FLI to IMapInvasives for New York and Pennsylvania and USGS-NAS for other locations.


    Survey123 is a free app that runs on digital devices like smartphones and tablets. It provides a great way to record and report the information gathered during a survey. FLI is encouraging its use for several reasons: It provides an easy and efficient way to record SSW locations and sample information. Results upload to a cloud where FLI Staff can review data before uploading to iMapInvasives and USGS-NAS.
    A live map of locations recorded in Survey123 is on the homepage. See where you were sampling today!

    FLI Training and Survey Support

    Aside from providing training, materials and support to groups to get them ready to do starry stonewort surveys, FLI will provide basic field kits to give citizen scientists a jump start as they begin their field work. These kits include tools and information to enhance field sampling and starry stonewort identification easier and fun.

    Training Programs, Structure and Support

    Proper training is critical to successful surveys and in turn enhancing early detection and rapid response abilities. Get involved and help control starry stonewort!

    Start small but think big!

    Our partners in Minnesota and Wisconsin have well established one-day training programs that occur simultaneously in several locations across both states. [links to webinar and MapStory] FLI intends to use these programs as a foundation and expand them to other areas across the Great Lakes Basin. To get started, we are looking for “Small and Mighty” groups that want to begin training and sampling in their locations. As time goes on, we will support and promote the expansion of this work to wider audiences. For more information, see the Starry Stonewort Collaborative Training and Survey program. Click here to access our Volunteer form to get involved!