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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 to the course, distributed on a first-come first-served basis.

Thereafter, registration $45 per person. 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 April 22nd, 2013.


Friday May 3, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM PDT

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Western Nevada College 
160 Campus Way
Fallon, NV 89406

The course will be held in Virgil Getto Hall, rooms 302-304.
Driving Directions 


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: Cinco, Clif Bar Family Foundation, CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Dudley Foundation, Endangered Species Chocolate, The Metabolic Studio, Organic Farm Research Foundation, Organic Valley Farmers Advocating for Organics Fund, Turner Foundation, Whole Foods Market and its vendors, and Xerces Society members.

Special thank you to USDA NRCS Great Basin Plant Materials Center, the Specialty Crop Institute at Western Nevada College for generously hosting this event.

Photo Credit

Pollinator planting near rangeland. By Claudia Street, Glenn County Resource Conservation District.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Western Nevada College
Fallon, Nevada

May 3rd, 2013
9:00 am - 4:00 pm PDT

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.

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.

This event is also being held via video conference at multiple locations throughout Nevada. To view more information about attending the Short Course via video conference, please click here.

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.

**Continuing Education Credit Available** 
Certified Crop Adviser (5 CEUs) and Society of American Foresters (5 CFE credits)


  • 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, Importance of Pollinators

  • 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 Biology and Recognition

  • Bee recognition
  • Identifying pollinator nest sites

Break (10:45 am - 11:00 am)

Module 3 (11:00 am - 11:30 pm) Bee-Friendly Farming

  • The value of natural habitat
  • Mitigating pesticide damage
  • Protecting nesting sites

Module 4 (11:30 am - 12:00 pm) Assessing Pollinator Habitat

  • Conducting field observations, native plant selection, and land-use planning
  • Examination of pinned specimens, artificial nests, and display materials

Lunch (12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)

Module 5 (1:00 pm - 2:15 pm) Pollinator Habitat Restoration

  • Habitat design considerations
  • Plant selection and seed sources
  • Site preparation and planting techniques for native wildflowers
  • Long-term habitat management

Module 6 (2:15 pm - 2:30 pm) Assessing Technical and Financial Support

  • Using USDA cost-share programs and practices for pollinator conservation
  • Conservation case studies

Module 7 (2:30 pm - 2:45 pm) Additional Resources, Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle

Module 8 (3:00 pm - 4:00 pm) Tour of Great Basin Plant Materials Center

  • Tour of PMC production plots, pollinator plants
  • Field observations of pollinators and pollinator habitat


Jennifer Hopwood -  Pollinator Conservation Specialist - Midwest
Jennifer holds a Master’s in Entomology from the University of Kansas, and has studied pollinators in tallgrass prairie, woodlands, a research farm, and urban community gardens. She joined the Xerces Society's Pollinator Conservation Program in 2009. Through her work as a Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Jennifer provides resources and training for pollinator habitat management, creation, and restoration to agricultural professionals and land managers. Jennifer is based in Michigan, where she serves on the state's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education advisory committee. She has presented short courses in nearly twenty states. Contact:

Jessa Guisse - Pollinator Habitat Restoration Specialist - California
Jessa has a Masters of Science in Environmental Entomology from California State University, Chico and a Bachelors Degree in Sustainable Farming from Hampshire College. She joined the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program in 2008, focusing specifically on outreach in the state of California. She coordinates with local branches of the NRCS / RCD and other conservation agencies to promote the preservation and habitat enhancement of native bees, particularly in agricultural areas. Prior to joining the Xerces Society, she spearheaded a project working with California almond growers to develop the use of the native bee, Osmia lignaria, as a pollinator of almonds. During this time, she also worked in a California native plant nursery, where she implemented an IPM program, researched bee habitat plants, and worked with local farmers and organizations on the establishment of hedgerows and restoration sites. Contact: 


Eric Eldredge - USDA NRCS Great Basin Plant Materials Center Manager
Originally from Caldwell, Idaho, Eric has extensive background in Weed Science, Integrated Pest Management, irrigation, field research, and farming systems. His B.S. and M.S. degrees are from the University of Idaho. Between his Master's and doctoral degree, Eric worked in Hawaii on exotic/invasive plants in the national parks, as well as in alternative crops research on a sugar plantation. Eric earned his Ph.D. in Crop Physiology, with a minor in Horticulture, from Oregon State University. Dr. Eldredge worked as research faculty at OSU for a number of years, conducting sprinkler, furrow, and drip irrigation research, potato variety development, and variety trials of sugar beet, alfalfa, and grains. He has been in his current position as Manager of the USDA NRCS Great Basin Plant Materials Center in Fallon since 2008.


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