Invasive Species: Resources

Invasive Species

Introduction | Species Info | Teacher Materials | Resources


Curricula & Classroom Activities

  • ESCAPE (Exotic Species Compendium of Activities to Protect the Ecosystem)
    This group of 36 hands-on, multidisciplinary activities is filled with new options for teaching about exotic species. ESCAPE’s peer-reviewed lessons incorporate English, social studies, art, and music with science-based research and data collection and meets National Science Standards. Includes special laminated game set.
    Contact Valerie Eichman, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, 217-244-8809 or [email protected]Cost $65.
  • Return of the Natives is a four-part curriculum to approach control of exotic species by promoting the cultivation and conservation of native species. Developed and used in conjunction with the California Science Content Standards. This collection of lesson plans, maps and activities, identified by grade level, can be downloaded directly.
    Go to
  • Purple Loosestrife Project describes a statewide biological control program integrating formal and informal educational activities for upper elementary and secondary school students.
    Contact Mike Klepinger, Michigan Sea Grant, [email protected]Cost for Cooperator’s Handbook $30; Secondary School Activity Set MSG 99-6191 $5.
  • A Kid’s Journey to Understanding Weeds is a 10-minute videotape about invasive plants and their impact on people’s lives. Third-graders show real life problems from invasive plants on natural resource areas. A set of activities for the third-grade classroom, designed for the Gulf Region, can be used in conjunction with the video. Produced by A Kids Journey to Understanding Weeds Project. 
    Contact WWPC/PR (for the video), P.O. Box 728, Douglas, WY 82633-0728, 307-358-2775. Cost $12.
     Contact Intermountain Ag Foundation (for the set of classroom activities), P.O. Box 1901, Cheyenne, WY 82003.
  • Exotic Aquatic Exotics on the Move is a compendium of lesson plans to create interdisciplinary links between the social and natural sciences. The goal of the project is to teach students about the ecological impacts of non-native species and show them that environmentally responsible decisions can help prevent the spread or transport of such organisms. The collection includes teacher resources, interdisciplinary lesson plans and activities for elementary, middle and high school students. All were developed by teachers to meet specific educational standards. Project is a result of a National Sea Grant College Program teacher workshop project.
    Contact the Washington Sea Grant Program,[email protected], or 206-543-6600 to order on CD-Rom at $7 plus S&H or in hard copy at $12 plus S&H.
  • Project TELLUS Exotic Species Video Module is part of a series of interactive video lessons for middle school students on global change issues related to the Gulf of Mexico region. Each module uses an interactive video that melds global change issues with fundamental ecology concepts. The series covers biodiversity, exotic species, climate change, water quality, and overpopulation.
    Contact Dianne Lindstedt, Louisiana Sea Grant, 225-578-1558, or [email protected]. [ Download lessons: ExoticSpecies.pdf (5.18MB PDF) ]
  • Attack Pack is a self-contained teaching aid for high school students to teach elementary school students about aquatic nuisance species, their life cycles, effects, and how they spread. It includes books, a videotape, Power Point presentation, brochures, watch cards, maps, and hands-on activities.
    Contact Phil Moy, Wisconsin Sea Grant, 706 Viebahn St., Manitowoc, WI 54220, 320-683-4697.
  • The Montana Weed Project Teachers Handbook is an interdisciplinary
    curriculum developed by REAP (Resource Education Awareness Project) for fifth -through 12th-grade students. It focuses on the effects of invasive species on ecosystems.
    Contact Montana Weed Project, Missoula County Conservation District, 3550 Mullan Rd., Suite 106, Missoula, MT 59808-5125, 406-829-3395. Cost for shipping.
  • Community Stewardship Projects on Exotic Aquatic Species describes 15 student-developed projects in various areas of the country to reduce or control invasion by exotic species. Each description identifies the objectives, activities and outcomes of the projects, providing ideas for adaptation in any area. Contains small bibliography of resources.
    Contact Robin Goettel, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, 217-333-4780.

Hands-on Tools

  • Zebra Mussel Mania Traveling Trunk is an award-winning education kit and curriculum incorporating experiments, games, stories, community action projects, and other hands-on activities for grades 3-8. The curriculum includes 10 activities to teach students a range of problems associated with zebra mussels and other aquatic exotic species.
    Contact Dianne Lindstedt, Louisiana Sea Grant, 225-578-1558, or [email protected] to borrow in Louisiana; Robin Goettel, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, 217-333-4780, to purchase.
  • Wetland and Invasive Plants of the Southeast, is a coloring book collection of line drawings including many native wetland plants as well as non-native invasive plants. They can be colored with crayons or colored pencils and then used as a reference or learning tool.
    Contact University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, 800-226-1764. Cost $4.95.

Background Resources

  • Sea Grant Nonindigenous Species CD ROM contains a comprehensive, searchable collection of research, publications, and educational materials produced by the National Sea Grant College Program. This peer-reviewed collection contains scientific information on zebra mussels, Eurasian ruffe, round gobies, sea lamprey, and spiny waterflea, and includes training materials, distribution maps, color photographs, video clips, newsletters, and product ordering information.
    Contact Doug Jensen, Minnesota Sea Grant, 218-726-6191. Cost $14.
  • Mussel Menace! Zebra Mussels and You is an instructor’s training package designed to help groups understand background information on zebra mussels. The unit includes a comprehensive guide, a slide program, and a 16-minute video.
    Contact Doug Jensen, Minnesota Sea Grant, 218-726-6191. Cost $60.
  • Zebra Mussels: Lessons Learned in the Great Lakes is a set of four videos with basic information on zebra mussels for those who have not yet experienced this invasive species. The videos focus on mussel biology, spread and impact, control, and outreach tools.
    Contact Robin Goettel, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, 217-333-4780. Cost $20.
  • Stop Exotics: Clean Your Boat is an 11-minute video to help watercraft users take responsibility for protecting their environments from invasive species. Featuring John Ratzenberger, this humorous production informs recreational boaters about
    the exotics they are most likely to accidentally spread like hydrilla and watermilfoil, as well as others like zebra mussels.
    Contact Minnesota Sea Grant, 218-726-8106. Cost $10 each or $8 each with an order of 10 or more copies.
  • Invasive Non-native Plants is a fully laminated, 62”X23” photomural of 10
    invasive species found in Florida and 27 species found in various places around the United States. All plants are depicted in full color photos, some more than one square foot in size. To view, visit
    Contact APRIS, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, 7922 NW 71st St., Gainesville, FL 32653. Cost $20.
  • Aquatic Nuisance Species, Our Most Unwanted features the five most undesirable invading species in the United States. Specific information is provided about each .
    Contact NOAA Office of Public and Constituent Affairs Outreach Unit, 1305 East-West Highway, room 1W514, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

Useful Web Sites

Bookshelf References

  • Aulbach-Smith, Cynthia A., and Steven J. de Kozlowski. 1996.Aquatic and Wetland Plants of South Carolina. Second Edition. Columbia, South Carolina: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. 128 p.
  • Devine, Robert. 1998. Alien Invasion: America’s Battle With Non-Native Animals and Plants. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society. 280 p.
  • Grimshaw, John. 1998. The Gardener’s Atlas: The Origins, Discovery, and Cultivation of the World’s Most Popular Garden Plants. New York: Firefly Books. 224 p.
  • Hoyer, Mark V., Daniel E. Canfield, Jr., Christine A. Horsburgh and Karen Brown. 1996. Florida Freshwater Plants: A Handbook of Common Aquatic Plants in Florida Lakes. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. 264 p.
  • Langeland, K. A. and K. Craddock Burks, eds., Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Area. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida. 165 p.
  • Ramey, Victor. 1998. Aquatic Plant Identification Deck. Gainsville FL: University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Ramey, Victor. 1999. Grasses, Sedges and Rushes of Wetlands Identification Deck. Gainsville, FL: University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
  • Tobe, John, Kathy C. Burks, Richard W. Cantrell, Mark A. Garland, Maynard E. Sweeley, David W. Hall, Pete Wallace, Guy Anglin, Gil Nelson, James R. Cooper, David Bickner, Katherine Gilbert, Neil Aymond, Ken Greenwood and Nina Raymond. 1998. Florida Wetland Plants: An Identification Manual. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 598 p.