Delaware Dept. of AgNortheast SARE LogoMt. Cuba Center LogoNRCS Logo

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


Thanks to support from Northeast SARE, we are able to offer 30 scholarships on a first-come first-served basis. Registration is $45 per person thereafter.

Lunch is not included. Please bring a sack lunch with you to the course.

Canceled registrations can be refunded until March 16, 2012.


Friday March 23, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT

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Mt. Cuba Center

3120 Barley Mill Road
Hockessin, DE 19707

Driving Directions 


This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of the Northeast  Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE), and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Additional support for this training is provided by the following: CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust, Turner Foundation, Whole Systems Foundation, and Xerces Society members.

Special thanks to Mt. Cuba Center for generously hosting this course.

Photo Credit

Bombus impatiens by Jennifer Hopwood, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Hockessin, Delaware
March 23, 2012
9:00 am - 4:00 pm EDT

Pollinators 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 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 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 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 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 pm) 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

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


Jolie Goldenetz Dollar – Pollinator Habitat Restoration Specialist, Mid-Atlantic Region
Jolie joined the Xerces Society in 2011. She provides technical support and training to the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, other conservation agencies, and farmers on pollinator conservation and native plant restoration. One of her goals is to advance the general public’s awareness of the importance of native pollinators to agriculture and wildlife conservation. Jolie holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Agricultural Development from University of California at Davis, a Master’s degree in Natural Resources from University of Arizona, and a Doctorate degree in Wildlife Studies from Mississippi State University. Additionally, Jolie has worked for the non-profits Native Seeds/SEARCH in Arizona and Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) in Florida and Haiti. Her university research and non-profit work have largely focused on the conservation of under-utilized cultivated plants and habitat conservation for native pollinators. In addition to gardening and wildlife watching, Jolie enjoys cycling and hiking with her husband.


Heather Harmon Disque has been an Entomologist with the Delaware Department of Agriculture for six years. While working for the department she has implemented a Native Bee Sampling Program on ovre 50 Delaware farms. Prior to the DDA she worked for the University of Maryland's Entomology Department and earned her Master's degree from Towson University. Heather resides in Maryland with her husband, two cats, and foster animals.

Matthew Sarver is an ecologist, consultant, and writer specializing in habitat management, biodiversity, and conservation and restoration planning. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences, cum laude, from Cornell University with a concentration in Neurobiology and Animal Behavior. Matt has been an avid birder for over 15 years and is currently President of the Delmarva Ornithological Society. Matt is also the Delaware representative on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council, and a member of the Delaware Nature Society's Land and Biodiversity Management Committee. Matt has worked as an entomologist, botanist, and community ecologist for state Natural Heritage programs in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 2004-2005, he spent five months in the Big Woods of Arkansas in search of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker as a member of the Cornnel/The Nature COnservancy search team. Since 2006, Matt has been the principle of a consulting business, Sarver Ecological, LLC, that provides conservation planning, biodiversity inventory, and public outreach solutions to government agencies, nonprofits, corporations, and private landowners.

Faith Kuehn, Plant Industries, Delaware Department of Agriculture.


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