Intended Audience

The content of this course is tailored to the needs of NRCS, SWCD, Cooperative Extension, and state department of agriculture employees as well as crop consultants, natural resource specialists, non-governmental conservation organization staff, and producers of bee-pollinated crops.

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Nancy Lee Adamson
Joint Pollinator Conservation Specialist - East Region
The Xerces Society
USDA-NRCS East National Technology Support Center
(336) 370-3443

For questions regarding registration:

Ashley Minnerath
Pollinator Program Assistant
The Xerces Society
(855) 232-6639 ext. 102


$35 per person. Lunch is not included. Please plan on bringing a sack lunch.

Thanks to support from Southern SARE, we are able to offer 15 scholarships on a first-come first-served basis.

Hurry, space is limited!

Canceled registrations can be refunded until November 11th, 2011.


Thursday November 17, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EST

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Chatham Extension Center 
45 South Street
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Driving Directions 


This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of the USDA-NRCS Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Additional support for this training is provided by the following: CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Turner Foundation, Whole Systems Foundation, and Xerces Society members.

Photo Credit

Matthew Shepherd, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.



Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Pittsboro, North Carolina
November 17th, 2011
9:00 am - 4:00 pm EST

Pollinators are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of nearly 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants and is fundamental to agriculture and natural ecosystems. More than two-thirds of the world’s crop species are dependent on pollination, with an annual estimated value of $18 to $27 billion in the United States alone. Beyond agriculture, pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems, since their activities are ultimately responsible for the seeds and fruits that feed everything from songbirds to black bears. Conservation of pollinating insects is critically important to preserving both wider biodiversity as well as agriculture. 

In many places, however, this essential service is at risk. In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences released the report Status of Pollinators in North America, which called attention to the decline of pollinators. The report urged agencies and organizations to increase awareness and protect pollinator habitat. The Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course was developed to address this need. The course will include both classroom and field training components.

Introductory topics include the principles of pollinator biology, the economics of insect pollination, basic bee field identification, and evaluating pollinator habitat. Advanced modules will cover land management practices for pollinator protection, pollinator habitat restoration, incorporating pollinator conservation into federal conservation programs, selection of plants for pollinator enhancement sites, management of natural landscapes, and financial and technical resources to support these efforts. Throughout the short course these training modules are illustrated by case studies of pollinator conservation efforts across the country.

Registrants will receive the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Toolkit that includes Xerces’ latest book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, as well as habitat management guidelines and relevant USDA-NRCS and Extension publications.

The Xerces Society is offering similar Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Courses across the country. Visit our online events page to view up-to-date short course information. If you would like to receive announcements about upcoming short courses, please email Be sure to include the following information: name, affiliation, mailing address, phone number, and the state(s) for which you would like to receive Short Course announcements.


  • Ability to identify ways of increasing and enhancing pollinator diversity on the land
  • Knowledge of the current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators
  • Ability to identify bees and distinguish them from other insects
  • Knowledge of the economics of insect-pollinated crops, and the effects of pollinator decline           
  • Knowledge of the current Farm Bill pollinator conservation provisions and how to implement those provisions through USDA programs such as WHIP, EQIP, CSP, and CRP
  • Ability to assess pollinator habitat and to identify habitat deficiencies
  • Ability to make recommendations to farmers and land managers that conserve pollinators (including subjects such as roadside management, tillage, pesticide use, burning, grazing, and cover cropping)
  • Ability to design and implement habitat improvements, such as native plant restoration and nest site enhancements
  • Ability to incorporate pollinators into land-management or policy decisions


Module 1 (9:00 am - 10:00 am) Introduction

  • Pollination economics and the role of native bees in commercial crop production
  • Pollination biology
  • Colony Collapse Disorder and honey bee industry trends

 Module 2 (10:00 am - 10:45 am) Basic Bee and Butterfly Biology

  • Bee identification
  • Identifying pollinator nest sites

Break (10:45 am - 11:00 am)

 Module 3 (11:00 am - 11:45 am) Bee-Friendly Farming

  • The value of natural habitat
  • Mitigating pesticide damage
  • Protecting nesting sites

Module 4 (11:45 am - 12:30 pm) Habitat Restoration

  • Habitat design considerations
  • Plant selection and seed sources
  • Site preparation and planting techniques for native wildflowers
  • Long-term habitat management
  • Artificial nest sites

Lunch (12:30 pm - 1:15 pm)

Module 5 (1:15 pm - 2:45 pm) Open Laboratory

  • Field observation, native plant selection, and land-use discussion (outdoors)
  • Examination of pinned specimens, artificial nests, and display materials

Module 6 (2:45 pm - 3:15 pm) Current Farm Bill Provisions

  • Using USDA programs and practices for pollinator conservation
  • Conservation Case Studies

Module 7 (3:15 pm - 3:30 pm) Additional Resources

Module 8 (3:30 pm - 4:00 pm) Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle


Eric Mader

Eric is the Xerces Society's Assistant Pollinator Program Director. In this role he works to raise awareness of native pollinator conservation techniques among growers and government agencies. His previous work includes commercial beekeeping and crop consulting for the native seed industry where he provided weekly insect and disease scouting on hundreds of plant species grown for prairie restoration efforts. He is an Assistant Extension Professor at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Entomology, and has authored several books and government management plans for native pollinators. He most recently co-authored Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies  and Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers and Conservationists.

Nancy Lee Adamson

Nancy is the Joint Pollinator Conservation Specialist - East Region for the Xerces Society and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service East National Technology Support center (USDA-NRCS ENTSC). She supports pollinator conservation care of the USDA-NRCS ENTSC in Greensboro, North Carolina. She studied bees important for crop pollination (primarily native bees) and meadow restoration in the mid-Atlantic, ran the horticulture and Master Gardener programs for Frederick County, Maryland’s Cooperative Extension, and has long been involved in inventorying, collecting seed, and propagating native plants for habitat restoration. As Education Coordinator and Nursery Manager at Adkins Arboretum on the eastern shore of Maryland, she started a local ecotype propagation program following work with Bloomin’ Natives (now Chesapeake Natives). A former Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, she also worked as an intern with Cultural Survival in PetÚn, Guatemala.


The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. The Society's Pollinator Conservation Program was launched in 1996, and works with leading native pollinator ecologists to translate the latest research findings into on-the-ground conservation. More information about the Xerces Society is available at