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


Registration is $45 per person.

NRCS personnel should register through Erin Kurtz at

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

Canceled registrations can be refunded until May 6th, 2013.


Tuesday May 14, 2013 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM PDT

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Southern Oregon Research & Extension Center 
569 Hanley Road
Central Point, OR 97502

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This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of the Oregon Department and Agriculture and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Additional support for this training is provided by the following: The Dudley Foundation, Endangered Species Chocolate, Whole Foods Market and its vendors, and Xerces Society members.

Special thank you to Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, Oregon State University Extension Service and OSU Small Farms Program for supporting this course.

Photo Credit

California Pollinator Meadow by Jessa Guisse, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Central Point, Oregon
May 14th, 2013
9:30 am - 4:30 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.

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 - 10:15 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 (10:15 am - 10:45 am) Basic Bee Biology
  • Bee identification
  • 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

  • Learning to use the bee habitat assessment guide to help guide pollinator conservation planning

Lunch (12:30 pm - 1:15 pm)

Field Tour (1:15 pm – 2:15 pm)

  • Tour of land around SOREC to demonstrate use of habitat assessment guide
  • Catching bees and sharing stories about bee identification and habitat

Module 5 (2:15 pm – 3:00 pm) Habitat Restoration

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

Best Plants for Pollinators in SW Oregon (3:00 pm – 3:30 pm)

  • Kathy Pendergrass (Oregon NRCS Plant Materials Specialist) will introduce the best plants for pollinators in the area around Medford, OR

Module 6 (3:30 pm – 3:45 pm) Accessing Technical and Financial Support

  • Erin Kurtz (Oregon NRCS District Conservationist) will highlight USDA programs and practices for pollinator conservation
  • Conservation case studies in Oregon

Module 7 (3:45 pm – 4:00 pm) Additional Resources

Module 8 (4:00 pm - 4:30 pm) Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle


Mace Vaughan – Pollinator Program Director, Joint Pollinator Conservation Specialist for NRCS West National Tech Support Center
Mace has led the Xerces Pollinator Conservation Program since 2003. In this capacity, he supervises research and outreach on habitat restoration for crop pollinating native bees; develops and presents educational materials to farmers, conservationists, land managers, and policy makers; and collaborates extensively with scientists researching the role and habitat needs of crop-pollinating native bees. Mace also serves as the Joint Pollinator Conservation Specialist for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, working from the agency’s West National Technology Support Center in Portland, Oregon. He has written numerous articles on the conservation of bees, butterflies, aquatic invertebrates, and insects, and is co-author of Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies and the Pollinator Conservation Handbook. He is also lead author of Farming for Bees: Guidelines for Providing Native Bee Habitat on Farms. He was a lecturer on honey bee biology and beekeeping at Cornell University, from which he holds Masters Degrees in Entomology and Teaching.


Erin Kurtz, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS
Kathy Pendergrass, Plant Materials Specialist, USDA-NRCS


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