New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team (NJISST)
PO Box 5752
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
ContactMs. Susan Brookman
For general operating support of coordination of identification and eradication of emerging invasive species on public and private lands to safeguard natural resources, and the ecological and economic value of preserved land.
The New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team started as a localized project in 2008 to track and control the spread of emerging invasive species in the central part of the state. Strong interest prompted us to organize as a statewide non-profit organization in 2011.
Our mission is to prevent the spread of emerging invasive species -- plants, animals and pathogens -- across New Jersey. We do this by harnessing the stewardship potential of public and private land stewards to search for emerging invasive species, map locations where populations are detected and eradicate the invasive species that we find. We administer a data clearinghouse, prepare an annual catalog of invasive species present in and around our state, prioritize problem species, provide training for land stewards and property owners, furnish a free smartphone app to help users identify and report invasive species, coordinate detection and eradication programs and share our experience with the public.
In just the first few years of our existence, we have coordinated the work of over 175 partners and conducted 150 programs to inform more than 3,800 members of the public about the problems that stem from invasive species and teach them how to identify the species of most concern. With our partners, we have conducted early detection surveys on over 564,182 acres of land, identified 6,225 populations of emerging invasive species, initiated eradication efforts on 1,652 of those populations and completely eradicated 1,219 populations. Our partners include Federal, state, county and municipal government entities, non-profit conservation groups, consulting scientists, community-based groups such as garden clubs, native plant nurseries and private citizens.
Susan Brookman is our Executive Director. She holds a B.A. in Education from the University of Montana and an M.B.A. from Georgia College. Susan served as a founding member of our Board of Directors before becoming Executive Director in 2013. An experienced non-profit administrator, Susan spent eight years as the Executive Director of the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, an environmental education center in Florida, and worked in a variety of positions with Girl Scout Councils in Missouri and Georgia earlier in her career.