ST PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites Minnesotans interested in serving on the department’s Aquatic Invasive Species Advisory Committee to apply by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Aquatic invasive species present one of the state’s most pressing natural resource issues. Preventing the spread of zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, invasive carp, starry stonewort and other invasive plants and animals is of critical environmental, recreational and economic importance, a release said.

The AIS Advisory Committee is a core element of the DNR’s partnership approach to addressing aquatic invasive species. The committee comprises 15 members. The DNR is seeking five new members to join the committee, with term lengths of three years.

The DNR established the advisory committee in 2013 to help guide the agency’s AIS prevention and management activities. Members provide advice and diverse perspectives on programmatic direction, emerging research needs, communications and funding strategies.

The committee meets eight times a year, either online or in a central Minnesota location, as determined by the DNR.

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The DNR seeks an inclusive and well-rounded advisory committee, encompassing differences including but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, life experience, ideas, knowledge and learning styles.

Current members have a range of personal and professional experience with AIS issues, including prevention, decontamination, public awareness and control activities. The committee also reflects the range of private, nonprofit and public sector organizations that are actively engaged in AIS issues.

Appointees may request mileage reimbursement for in-person meetings, but members are not eligible for per diem. Members must abide by requirements pertaining to potential conflicts of interest. Advisory committee members can expect a commitment of six to 16 hours per month during their terms.

How to apply

The DNR is accepting applications online at dnr.state.mn.us/aisadvisory/index. Advisory committee data is classified as private under state law, except for what is specifically listed in the statute as public. For more information, email Heidi Wolf at heidi.wolf@state.mn.us or call (651) 259-5152.