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 Western 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 for $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 9th, 2012.


Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center
University of Wyoming Campus
10th and Lewis
Laramie, WY 82071

Click here for a campus map.

Driving Directions 


Tuesday July 17, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM MDT

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This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of the Western  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, Dudley Foundation, Turner Foundation, Whole Foods Market and their vendors, and Xerces Society members.

Special thanks to Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center for generously hosting the course.

Photo Credit

Landscape photo by Guy Bruyea.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Laramie, Wyoming
July 17th, 2012
9:00 am - 4:00 pm MDT

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 – 9:50 am      Welcome, introduction
                                         The importance of native pollinators
                                         Jennifer Hopwood (Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation)

10:00 am - 10:50 am     Basic native bee biology and identification
                                         Jennifer Hopwood (Xerces Society)

11:00 am –11:40 am    Pollinator-friendly farming practices
                                          Jennifer Hopwood (Xerces Society)

11:45 am – 12:00 pm   Bumble Bee Brigade Citizen Science Project
                                          Brenna Wanous and Dorothy Tuthill (Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center)

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm     Lunch. Lunch is on your own.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm       Tour of nearby plantings, field observations on pollinators, habitat assessment
                                          Jennifer Hopwood (Xerces Society)

2:10 pm – 2:55 pm       Developing new pollinator habitat
                                         Jennifer Hopwood
(Xerces Society)

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm        Wyoming NRCS Habitat Management for Pollinators
                                         Mary Schrader (Wyoming NRCS Farm Bill Specialist)

3:35 pm – 4:00 pm      Additional resources, wrap-up, and 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.


Mary Schrader is the Resource Conservationist and Farm Bill Specialist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Casper, Wyoming. Mary has worked with the NRCS for 24 years, in multiple positions and states. She received her bachelor of science degree in agriculture with a major in natural resources and rangeland management from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. In her current position, Mary works with the environment programs mandated by the Farm Bill; including the Environmental Incentives Program (EQIP), Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). All of these programs offer an opportunity to establish pollinator habitat on private land.

Brenna Wanous, Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center. Brenna received degrees in geography, international studies, and environmental studies, and is an enthusiastic gardener and amateur botanist.

Dorothy Tuthill, Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center. Dorothy is a mycologist and botanist and was raised by entomologists.


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