FAQs for the Sentinel Plant Network (SPN)

How can the Sentinel Plant Network benefit your institution?

Answer:

  • Cost savings through the preservation of collections and prized specimens
  • Disaster preparedness and risk management through improved monitoring
  • Specialized professional development opportunities
  • Access to invasive pest / pathogen diagnostic support and expertise
  • Access to SPN educational outreach materials and programs
  • Participation in the Sentinel Plant Network also indicates your organization’s commitment to plant conservation, excellent collections management, and community leadership and is recognized through features in APGA’s publications, conferences, and website.

Who is eligible to participate in the Sentinel Plant Network?

Answer:

All APGA member gardens are invited to join and participate in the Sentinel Plant Network.

What activities does the Sentinel Plant Network expect you to undertake while participating in the SPN?

Answer:

  • Designate an SPN Contact Person for your organization
  • Participate in Sentinel Plant Network and other pest/pathogen management training
  • Perform routine scouting for pests/pathogens in our collections or natural areas
  • Collect and submit samples of pest and pathogens for diagnosis as needed and using SPN's protocols
  • Display / distribute SPN educational outreach materials
  • Conduct an annual “First Detector” training session for your community members
  • Publicize your institution’s involvement in SPN through website links, newsletter articles, press releases, etc.
  • Complete a brief annual report on SPN-related scouting activity, sample submissions, educational outreach and First Detector training

How does my organization join the Sentinel Plant Network?

Answer:

  1. Identify your organization's SPN Contact Person, who will serve as a clearinghouse for sharing updates about new SPN resources and training opportunites with other members of staff.
  2. Have that individual contact APGA's Sentinel Plant Network Manager, Daniel Stern, to provide the necessary contact information and discuss your organization's participation in the program.

How do I participate in the Sentinel Plant Network professional development workshops?

Answer:

  1. Complete the SPN Institutional Scholarship Application and Letter of Commitment

    Once your organization has joined the Sentinel Plant Network, it will be invited to send appropriate staff to a regional training workshop. Your SPN Contact Person will be given information about upcoming opportunities in your area and instructions on how to participate.

    APGA will be providing institutional scholarships to offset some of the costs of attending these training sessions. To qualify for these scholarship funds, your SPN Contact Person must complete an additional Institutional Scholarship Application and Letter of Commitment, signed by both the organization’s Director/CEO and a Governing Authority Representative, agreeing to meet the following conditions:
    • Perform routine scouting for pests/pathogens in your collections or natural areas
    • Collect and submit samples of pest and pathogens for diagnosis as needed
    • Complete reports on scouting activity and sample submissions
    • Conduct an annual “first-detector” training session for community members
       
    Completed materials should be sent via e-mail to APGA’s Sentinel Plant Network Manager Daniel Stern.
     
  2. Administrative review conducted and decision made
    • APGA’s Sentinel Plant Network Manager Daniel Stern confirms all application components are included and may contact applicant to request missing or incomplete materials, if needed.
    • APGA reviews application and makes determination to:
      • Award scholarship funds for applying organization to send staff to
        SPN regional training workshop
      • Request changes/re-submittal
      • Deny scholarship funds*
    • APGA’s Sentinel Plant Network Manager Daniel Stern sends an e-mail to the organization’s SPN Contact Person informing them of the decision.
    * Please note that denial of institutional scholarship funds does not preclude your organization from sending staff to participate in the professional development workshops.