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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General Information Contact

Jillian Vento
The Xerces Society 
(855) 232-6639

Local Contact

Cooperative Extension of Burlington County
(609) 265-5050

Kelly Gill
The Xerces Society - Mid-Atlantic Region
(515) 708-6108 


Registration $45 per person.

Lunch is available for pre-order for an additional $10. Please plan on bringing a sack lunch with you to the course if you do not select this option.

Canceled registrations can be refunded until September 22nd, 2016.


Thursday September 29, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT

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Cooperative Extension of Burlington County
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
2 Academy Drive
Westampton, NJ 05060 


This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of the USDA-NRCS. Additional support for this training is provided by the following: Cascadian Farm, Ceres Trust, Cheerios, Clif Bar Family Foundation, CS Fund, Disney Conservation Fund, The Dudley Foundation, Endangered Species Chocolate LLC, General Mills, Häagen-Dazs, J.Crew, National Co+op Grocers, Nature Valley, Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust, Turner Foundation, Inc., The White Pine Fund, Whole Foods Market and its vendors, Whole Systems Foundation, and Xerces Society members.

Special thanks to Mike Haberland and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Burlington County. USDA NRCS, and Rutgers University.

About the Xerces Society

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

Photo Credit

Andrena sp. by Nancy Lee Adamson, The Xerces Society

Pollinator Conservation Short Course

Cooperative Extension of Burlington County
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Westampton, New Jersey

Thursday, September 29th, 2016
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

This full day workshop will focus on concepts around protecting and enhancing populations of pollinators, especially bees, in agricultural landscapes. The course will provide an overview of bee natural history and farm practices that support pollinators, such as protecting and creating habitat, modified horticultural practices, and advice on how to manage pests while protecting pollinators. In addition to receiving the latest cutting edge scientific findings, course participants will conduct a field tour to practice identifying bees and their habitat.

Introductory topics include the principles of pollinator biology and integrated crop pollination, 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' book, Attracting Native Pollinators. as well as habitat management guidelines and relevant USDA-NRCS and extension publications.

The Xerces Society is offering similar Pollinator Conservation Short Courses, as well as Conservation Biological Control Short Courses across the country. Visit our online events page to view up-to-date short course information.


  • 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

Continuing Education Credits offered:

  • NJ Pesticide Applicator Recertification Credits: 
    1A (Agricultural Plants), 6 units
    3A (Ornamentals), 6 units
    PP2 (Private Applicator Category), 6 units
    (A photo id and applicator license # will be required to receive the certificate)
  • Certified Crop Advisor Credits (6 CEUs)
  • Society of American Foresters Credits
  • The Wildlife Society Credits


Module 1 Introduction - The Importance of Pollinator Conservation

  • Pollination economics and the role of bees in commercial crop production; value of diversifying pollination strategies
  • Pollination biology
  • Colony Collapse Disorder and honey bee industry trends
  • Overview of Integrated Crop Pollination

Module 2 Basic Bee  Biology

  • Bee identification
  • Bee needs
  • Identifying pollinator nest sites

Module 3 Bee-Friendly Farming

  • The value of natural habitat & bee friendly plantings
  • Horticultural practices
  • Reducing pesticide exposure when managing pests


Case study: Farming for bees

Module 4 Assessing Pollinator Habitat

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


Field Tour Identifying bees and other valuable flower visitors and assessing pollinator habitat

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 Accessing Technical and Financial Support

  • USDA programs and practices for pollinator conservation

Module 7 Additional Resources

Module 8 Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle


Kelly Gill – Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Region
Kelly is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions for The Xerces Society and a partner biologist with the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Kelly’s position provides technical support for planning, installing, and managing habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects. A Pennsylvania native, Kelly completed her Master’s Degree in Entomology at Iowa State University. There, she conducted small plot and farm scale research, collaborating with organic and conventional farmers, on the development of best practices for conserving beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes.


Betsy McShane, State Biologist, NRCS NJ 
lizabeth (Betsy) McShane is a Biologist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS provides technical expertise and conservation planning for farmers and private landowners wanting to make conservation improvements to their land. Betsy’s areas of expertise include wildlife habitat, wetlands, invasive species, and endangered and threatened species. She works with landowners to implements habitat restoration projects through participation in USDA Farm Bill Programs.

Colleen Smith, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Rutgers University
Collen Smith is from Westfield, NJ. Colleen went to the University of Michigan, where she studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Colleen is currently in her second year as a PhD student at Rutgers, studying pollen use by both spring forest bees and leafcutter bees. For her PhD research, she interested in whether pollen diversity is important for supporting bee populations.