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 Northeastern SARE, this short course is FREE.

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


Wednesday October 10, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM EDT

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Roger Williams Park Botanical Center 
1000 Elmwood Ave.
Providence, RI 02905

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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 Roger Williams Park Botanical Center for hosting this course.

Photo Credit

Monarch butterfly on goldenrod by Jolie Goldenetz Dollar, the Xerces Society.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Providence, Rhode Island
October 10th, 2012
9:30 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 (9:30 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 am) 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
  • Artificial nest sites

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 nonprofits 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.


Gary Casabona is the State Biologist with the Rhode Island USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Heather Faubert is a Extension Educator with the University of Rhode Island's Cooperative Extension Service and the active coordinator with the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program for Rhode Island.

Rosanne Sherry is a Senior Horticultural Adviser with the University of Rhode Island Master Gardener Program and the Volunteer Coordinator for Roger Williams Park Botanical Center.

Vanessa Venturini is the Co-Coordinator of the University of Rhode Island (URI) Mater Gardener Program at the URI Outreach Center.


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