First Detector (FD) Training Resources  

Our goal is to educate garden visitors about the impact of serious plant pests diseases, the importance of early detection and the role of citizen science. SPN gardens should offer classes that provide this overview, introduce attendees to the First Detector Network and encourage them to become involved by creating an account, completing their training online and become a certified first detector.

Note: It's important that public gardens get credited for these "new recruits" as it illustrates our contribution to educational outreach and early detection so please, regardless of who your attendees are or which of the following materials you use, be sure include this slide that illustrates how an individual can self identify as having learned about the First Detector Network through SPN!

Train-the-Trainer Scripted Powerpoints

Introduction to the SPN Module

Submitting Samples to the NPDN Module

Simplified Illustration of NPDN's Chain of Custody and Communication Protocols

Digital Photography for Diagnosis (YouTube Video)

NPDN First Detector Training Modules and Other topic specific resources

Emerging Threat Presentations

Please note that the following PowerPoints cover threats that have yet to be documented in the U.S. but are believed to represent a significant threat should they become established. To mitigate the risk of false positives, we highly recommend that you limit the distribution of this content to well trained staff at your gardens.

  • Siberian silk moth (coming soon)
  • Oak splendor beetle (coming soon)
  • Scots pine blister rust (coming soon)

Teaching Materials

SPN has developed impementation kits for member gardens to enhance FD training classes that they provide to their staff, volunteers, and community. Each unit in the implementation kit includes:

SPN implementation kit


     1 SPN hip pack

     1 hand lens

     1 specimen vial (plastic)

     1 SPN Brochure

     1 NPDN Magnet

     1 SPN Magnet

     1 SPN lapel pin

     1 region-specific pest/pathogen

        identification deck (see below)


To acquire one of these kits, please contact

Sentinel Plant Network Manager, Daniel Stern,

and be sure to include the following details in your email:

  • Name of your organization
  • Date of the training event
  • Number of registrants / units
  • Which regional version of the pest ID deck you need (e.g. Great Plains, Midwest, Northeast, South, West)