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.

General Information Contact

Liz Robertson
The Xerces Society 
(855) 232-6639 ex. 120

Local Contact

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


A catered deli lunch will be provided for this course.  Please note that unfortunatley we are not able to make accomodations for dietary restrictions; we apologize for any inconvenience.  The registration form includes an option for bringing your own lunch.


Thursday, December 6th, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM EST

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Cornell Cooperative Extension
1581 NY-88
Newark, NY  14513 


Special thanks to the Sarah K. Decoizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust, NRCS New York, and to the Cornell Cooperative Extension for providing the venue.

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




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Pollinator Conservation Short Course

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Newark, NY

Thursday, December 6th, 2018
9:30 AM - 3:00 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.

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:

  • Certified Crop Advisor Credits (Pending approval)
  • Society of American Foresters Credits
  • The Wildlife Society Credits


Module 1:  Introduction to Native Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

  • Value of pollinators to agriculture and natural ecosystems
  • Native bees and crop pollination
  • Status of pollinator populations and at-risk species
  • Overview of beneficial insects--preadators and parasitoids--and conservation biological control


Module 2:  Native Bee Biology, Diversity, and Habitat Needs

  • Overview of native bee biology, diversity, and habitat needs
  • Native bee diversity in NY State
  • Case studies of native bees in apple and strawberry agriculture
  • Impacts of pesticides on pollinators
  • The NY statewide bee survey

Lunch - Catered deli lunch

Module 3:  Pollinator Habtiat Restoration and Management

  • Conservation planning and design considerations for pollinator habitat
  • Habitat installation procedures (with a focus on seeding wildflower habitat):  Site prep, planting methods, management during establisment period, maintenance, lessons learned, examples
  • Other opportunities for improving pollinator habitat (hedgerows/tree and shrub planting, forest edge enhancements, buffers, cover crops, annual insectary plantings, and more)


Module 4:  Case Studies From the Farm

  • Farm/farmer case studies:  Examples of how enhancing habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects has multiple benefits for crop production and conservation, the economic value, and other lessons learned

Module 5:  NRCS Resources and Conservation Programs

  • USDA conservation programs, technical and financial assistance
  • Other resources for farmers

Wrap up and Course Evaluations

  • Q&A and Additional Resources
  • **Please complete and return course evaluation**


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 and conducted field research on habitat restoration and development of best practices for conserving pollinators and beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes.



Maria Van Dyke, M.S. - Research & Outreach, Native Bee Systematics and Ecology Lab, Department of Entomology, Cornell University
Maria van Dyke is a plant and native bee ecologist focused on understanding the life histories of native bees in order to better provide them ideal habitats through conservation and restoration.  She comes with several years of habitat restoration experience in urban, agricultural and grassland ecosystems with a focus on native bee species conservation. Healthy native bee communities are heavily linked to the proximity of floral and nesting resources as well as their ability to deal with temperature and moisture in their nests. Bees are constantly making choices to this end. The pressures from pests, pathogens and land development in urban and rural landscapes are heavily impacting the choices bees and other pollinators have, and ultimately their health. Through outreach education she seeks to bridge the knowledge gap between research findings and the public, including policy makers, by increasing the understanding of native bee biology and ecology.

Shanna Shaw - Area Biologist, USDA NRCS 
Shanna became an Area Biologist in 2003 for the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service and provides biological technical assistance to 13 western New York counties and NRCS field offices.  One of her main responsibilities is to evaluate properties for wildlife habitat and develop conservation plans to provide management recommendations to private landowners or assist local NRCS staff with habitat planning.  She has experience with planning wetland, grassland, and young forest habitats.  She also helps train NRCS staff and administer Farm Bill Program for those participants interested in wildlife habitat. More recently, Shanna became more involved with Pollinator work as the NY NRCS representative for the Greater Appalachian Mountains (GAM) Monarch Team that developed the following documents: “Important Plants of the Monarch Butterfly” Appendix to the Monarch Butterfly Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Guide (WHEG): Greater Appalachian Mountains Region and Monarch WHEG.  Shanna also collaborated with Xerces, NY NRCS and Plant Materials Center staff to review and provide final edits for the NY Wildflower Habitat Installation Guide and lead development of New York Monarch seed mix recommendations for the state.


Maria van Dyke, M.S., Research & Outreach, Native Bee Systematics and Ecology Lab, Department of Entomology,Cornell University