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.

Join the Xerces Society's

E-newsletter List

Join My Mailing List


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


Thanks to support from Northeastern SARE, we are able to offer 30 scholarships on a first-come first-served basis.

Registration $45 per person thereafter and discounted registration is available to NRCS personnel at $35 per person.

Lunch is not included. Please plan on bringing a sack lunch with you to the course.

Canceled registrations can be refunded until July 27th, 2012.


Tuesday August 7, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT

Add to my calendar 


Vermont Technical College 
Conant Hall Auditorium, Rm 102
Randolph Center, VT 05061-0500

Driving Directions 


This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of the Northeastern 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: CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust,  Turner Foundation, Whole Foods Market and their vendors, and Xerces Society members.

Special thanks to Vermont Technical College for hosting this course.

Photo Credit

Bombus terricola by Leif Richardson.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Randolph Center, Vermont
August 7th, 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


9:00 am – 9:45 am      Welcome, introduction
                                         The importance of native pollinators
                                         Jennifer Hopwood (Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation)

9:50 am - 10:40 am     Basic native bee biology and identification
                                         Jennifer Hopwood (Xerces Society)

10:45 am –11:30 am    Pollinator-friendly farming practices
                                          Jennifer Hopwood (Xerces Society)

11:30 am – 12:30 pm   Lunch. Lunch is on your own.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm     Tour of nearby plantings, field observations of pollinators, habitat assessment
                                         Jennifer Hopwood, Toby Alexander, and Leif Richardson

1:40 pm – 2:25 pm       Developing new pollinator habitat
                                          Farm Bill provisions for pollinators
                                         Jennifer Hopwood (Xerces Society)

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm       Vermont NRCS Habitat Management for Pollinators
                                         Toby Alexander (Vermont NRCS Resource Conservationist)

3:00 pm - 3:50 pm       Bumble bees in Vermont
                                         Leif Richardson (Graduate student at Dartmouth College)

3:50 pm – 4:00 pm     Additional resources, course evaluations, raffle
                                       Jennifer Hopwood (Xerces Society)



Jennifer Hopwood – Midwest Pollinator Conservation Specialist
Jennifer joined the Xerces Society in 2009. She works to provide resources and training for pollinator habitat management, creation, and restoration to agricultural professionals and land managers across the Midwest. Jennifer holds a Master’s in Entomology from the University of Kansas, where her research focused on bee communities in roadside prairie plantings and prairie remnants. Jennifer’s roots extend deep in the Midwest, where she has studied pollinators in tallgrass prairie, woodlands, a research farm, and urban community gardens. Prior to joining Xerces, Jennifer taught at a community college and assisted with research examining the effects of grassland management on insects. She is enthusiastic about identifying bees, taking photographs, and being active outdoors.


Toby Alexander has been the Resource Conservationist for the USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service for the past 10 years. Prior to this, he worked a great deal on the National Resources Inventory for the NRCS, research biologist for the USFS in California studying spotted owls, surveyed songbirds along the PEcos River in New Mexico, and studied black backed woodpeckers for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

Leif Richardson is an ecologist interested in how plant-pollinator interactions are affected by third parties, such as herbivores and parasites. he is a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at Dartmouth College, and formerly worked for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department's Nongame and Natural Hertiage Program. Leif is at work on a guide to bumble bees of North America.


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