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 farmers, crop consultants, natural resource specialists, non-governmental conservation organization staff, and conservationists.


The registration fee for this course is $25* per person. Pre-registration is required and space is limted to 25 people.

*Scholarships are available. No application necessary.


Thursday, September 12th, 2019                         9:30 AM to 4:00 PM EST
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Rhode Island Natural History Survey
URI (University of Rhode Island) East Farm
Building #14
Kingston, RI  02881

Registration Contact

Liz Robertson, The Xerces Society
(503) 232-6639, Ext. 120

Workshop Instructor Contact
Kelly Gill, The Xerces Society

(515) 708-6108

Reasonable Accomodations

The Xerces Society provides reasonable accommodations for special events with adequate notice. To request accommodation for events, please contact

The Xerces Society is an equal-opportunity provider and employer.

The Xerces Society embraces diversity in our program services. At the Xerces Society, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment is one where all participants feel valued and are treated with respect regardless of their gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, education and/or disability.

About the Xerces Society

The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is a trusted source for science-based information and advice. We collaborate with people and institutions at all levels and our work to protect pollinators encompasses all landscapes. Our team draws together experts from the fields of habitat restoration, entomology, botany, and conservation biology with a single focus—protecting the life that sustains us. To learn more about our work, visit

Partners and/or Acknowledgements

This short course is made possible thanks to the support of the USDA NRCS and the RINHS.

Photo Credits

Banner: Bombus fervidus, by Kara Keating-Stuart

Side panel:  Thelma Heidel Baker / Xerces Society

Conservation Planning For

Pollinators & Beneficial Insects 

Rhode Island Natural History Survey
Kingston, Rhode Island

September 12th, 2019
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST

This full day workshop will focus on concepts around protecting and enhancing populations of pollinators and beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes. The course will provide an overview of the farm practices that support pollinators and beneficial insects, such as protecting and creating habitat, modified horticultural practices, and advice on how to manage pests while protecting pollinators.

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 offers various short coureses across the country. Visit our online events page to view up-to-date short course and event 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 (4.5 CEUs)
  • Society of American Foresters Credits
  • The Wildlife Society Credits


Module 1:  Introduction and Importance of Pollinators

  • Overview of pollinator diversity
  • Pollination biology and the role of native bees in crop production
  • Threats to pollinators
  • The status of pollinator populations

Module 2:  Basic Bee and Butterfly Biology

  • Recognizing native bees and other pollinators
  • General overview of bee biology and identification
  • Pollinator habitat needs--foraging and nesting habitat


Module 3:  Pollinator Habitat Restoration and Management

  • Habitat planning and design considerations
  • Plant selection and sources
  • Site preparation and planting techniques for woody and herbaceous plants
  • Conservation practices that support pollinators (e.g. wildflower plantings, buffers, windbreaks, cover crops, field borders, hedgerows, etc.)
  • Long-term habitat management
  • Protecting nesting sites
  • Farm case studies

Lunch - Lunch is not provided, please plan on bringing a bagged lunch and refillable water bottle to the course.

Module 4:  Field Activity *Come prepared to spend time outside!*

  • Tour East Farm habitats
  • Look for pollinators and beneficial insects
  • Make observations and connections between insects and plants
  • Identify existing habitat components and discuss potential improvements


Guest Speaker - Steven R. Alm: Carpenter Bees and Blueberry Pollination to Japanese Beetle Trap By-Catch of Bees: Update on Bee and Pollination Research at URI

Module 5:  Broad Ecological Benefits of Pollinator Seeding and Shrub Planting

  • Managing habitat for pollinators can potentially benefit many other species, including migratory songbirds, hummingbirds, and even turtles!
  • Choosing the right native shrubs can maximize benefits for wildlife
  • Patches of pollinator habitat can help protect water quality around streams
  • Forests can be managed for natural regeneration of native shrubs
  • NRCS conservation programs

Module 6:  Pollinator and Beneficial Insect Friendly Farming Practices

  • Best management practices for pollinator protection
  • Mitigating pesticide damage
  • IPM and pollinator protection

Wrap up, questions, and course evaluations

  • **Please complete and return course evaluation**

         verview of pollinator diversity


Kelly Gill, Pollinator Conservation Specialist, The Xerces Society
Kelly Gill is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and a Partner Biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Region. She provides technical support to NRCS and landowners for implementing Farm Bill practices to conserve pollinators and beneficial insects. This technical support includes planning, installing, and pollinator habitat on farms and natural areas. Kelly also works with agency staff and research partners on the development of technical guidelines, outreach materials, and training programs to guide pollinator conservation efforts. Kelly has a Master’s Degree in Entomology and wide-ranging experience in habitat restoration for pollinators and other wildlife.

Gary Casabona, State Biologist, NRCS Rhode Island
Gary Casabona holds a B.S. in Environmental Sciences from Rutgers University, and a M.S. in Wildlife Biology from Virginia Tech. He worked for USDA-NRCS in New Jersey for 14 years before moving to Rhode Island in 2011 as the statewide wildlife biologist for NRCS. Gary’s current activities include habitat projects for New England cottontail, native pollinators, shrubland nesting birds, declining turtle species, wetland restoration, and oyster reef restoration.

Guest Speaker

Steven R. Alm, B.S. M. S. in entomology SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Ph.D. in Entomology The Ohio State University
Steven's current research interests are in the ecology of native and managed bees, and chemical communication in insects.  Steven's graduate and undergraduate students are researching nectar robbery and pollination efficacy, pollen stores and nesting requirements of the Eastern carpenter bee as well as floral scents attractive to native bees.  Other research on establishment of pollinator forage is also being conducted.

Howard S. Ginsberg, Ph.D.