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.


Registration is $45 per person. Course registration includes lunch and  a copy of Attracting Native Pollinators. After May 23, registration is $50 per person.

Canceled registrations can be refunded until May 28, 2014.


Wednesday June 4, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT
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Clemson University Sandhill Research & Education Center Lake House
900 Clemson Road
Columbia, SC 29229


Driving Directions


Emily Krafft
The Xerces Society 

Reasonable Accomodations

The Xerces Society provides reasonable accommodations for special events with adequate notice. To request accommodation for events, please complete contact by Friday, May 20th, 2014. 

The USDA and the Xerces Society are equal-opportunity providers and employers.


This Pollinator Conservation Short Course is made possible with the support of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Additional support for this training is provided by the following: Ceres Foundation, CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Endangered Species Chocolate, Turner Foundation, Whole Foods Market and its vendors, and Xerces Society members.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District through Organic Richland, a cooperative program with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service in South Carolina.  Special thank you to South Carolina NRCS, Richland Soil and Water Conservation District, and Clemson Cooperative Extension for their tremendous support for this course and pollinators. Special thanks to Ernst Conservation Seed and Roundstone Seed for donating seeds for a pollinator planting, to Hi Cotton Greenhouses for growing out seed, and to Clemson University's Cooperative Extension for providing space to showcase pollinator plants.

Photo credit

Great purple hairstreak on goldenrod by Dave Kastner.

 Pollinator Conservation Short Course

Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center Lake House
Columbia, South Carolina
June 4, 2014
9:00 am - 4:00 pm EDT

Learn how to attract native pollinators to fields, farms, and orchards!

This course is now full.  Please email to be added to the waitlist.

Pollinators, which include bees, butterflies, and other insects, are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of more than 85 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 Short Course was developed to address this need.

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 which 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 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 announcements.

*Continuing Education Credit Available*
Certified Crop Adviser (5 CEUs) 
Society of American Foresters (5 CFE credits)
The Wildlife Society (5.5 contact hours)


  • 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


Welcome from USDA NRCS

Module 1 Introduction - The Importance of Pollinator Conservation

  • Pollination economics and the role of native bees in crop production
  • Pollination biology

Module 2 Basic Bee & Other Beneficial Insect Biology

  • Bee identification
  • Identifying pollinator nest sites
  • Introduction to predators & parasitoids that help control crop pests

Module 3 Pollinator Planting

  • Learn about site preparation, bulking materials, and planting techniques while helping to install a new pollinator demonstration garden

Module 4 Bee-Friendly Farming

  • The value of natural habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects
  • Mitigating pesticide damage
  • Protecting nesting sites

Module 5 Habitat Restoration

  • Habitat design considerations
  • Plant selection and sources
  • Site preparation and planting techniques for woody and herbaceous plants
  • Long-term habitat management

Module 6 Current Farm Bill Provisions Supporting Pollinators

  • South Carolina NRCS host Sudie Daves Thomas will highlight USDA programs and practices for pollinator

Module 7 Additional Resources

Module 8 Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle


Nancy Lee Adamson, PhD – Pollinator Conservation Specialist - East Region
Nancy is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist - East Region for the Xerces Society and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service East National Technology Support Center (ENTSC). She supports pollinator conservation care of the 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.

Sudie Daves Thomas – Wildlife Biologist, SC Natural Resources Conservation Service
Sudie provides technical support and training for SC NRCS staff and clients.  She works with issues and projects involving natural community restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and management, plant identification, rare and listed species, as well as wetland restoration on private lands.  In addition, she collaborates with many partner groups including the SC Exotic Pest Plant Council, the SC Native Plant Society, and the SC Partners for the Restoration of Native Plant Communities on outreach and education about the importance of natural community restoration and preservation; as well as on specific research and habitat management projects.  Past and present job duties include natural resource inventories, data collection and research, and formulation and implementation of habitat management plans.  Sudie is currently working with NRCS staff and clients on specific projects aiming to establish and improve pollinator habitat with native plant species.


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