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Intended Audience

The content of this course is tailored to the needs of NRCS, SWCD, 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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Contact

Ashley Minnerath 
The Xerces Society 
shortcourses@xerces.org 
(855) 232-6639 ext. 102

Cost

Thanks to support from Southern SARE, we are able to offer 15 scholarships on a first-come first-served basis.

Registration $45 per person thereafter.

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

Canceled registrations can be refunded until September 27th, 2013.

When

Thursday October 10, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM CDT

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Where

Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center 
Coastal Plain Experiment Station
51 Coastal Plain Road
Newton, MS 39345
 
Click here for directions

Acknowledgments

This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of the Southern 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: the Ceres Foundation, Cinco, CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Endangered Species Chocolate, The Metabolic Studio, Turner Foundation, Whole Foods Market and its vendors, and Xerces Society members.

Special thank you to Mississippi NRCS, Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Districts, USDA ARS, and Mississippi Extension for supporting these courses.

Photo Credit

Native bees on coreopsis by Glynda Clardy.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Newton, Mississippi
October 10, 2013
9:00 am - 4:00 pm CDT

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 shortcourses@xerces.org. 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)
Society for American Foresters (5 CFE credits)
The Wildlife Society (5.5 contact hours)

SHORT COURSE TRAINING SKILLS AND OBJECTIVES

  • 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

COURSE AGENDA

Module 1 Introduction – The Importance of Pollinator Conservation

  • Pollination economics and the role of native bees in crop production
  • Pollination biology
  • Colony Collapse Disorder and honey bee industry trends

Module 2 Basic Bee and Butterfly Biology

  • Bee identification
  • Identifying pollinator nest sites

Module 3 Bee-Friendly Farming

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

Module 4a Habitat Restoration

  • Habitat design considerations
  • Plant selection and sources
  • Site preparation and planting techniques for woody and herbaceous plants
  • Long-term habitat management

Module 4b Introduction to and Conservation of Native Bees in the Southeast

  • Special guest Blair Sampson has studied native bees important for crop pollination throughout the southeast

Module 5 Open Laboratory (outdoors, weather permitting)

  • Field observation of pollinators and plants, native plant selection, and land-use discussion
  • Billy Johnson will highlight native plantings at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station that support pollinators
  • Using the Pollinator Habitat Assessment Form and Guide

Module 6 Current Farm Bill Provisions

  • Host Glynda Clardy, MS NRCS Wildlife Biologist, will highlight USDA programs and practices for pollinator conservation

Module 7 Additional Resources

Module 8 Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle

INSTRUCTOR

Nancy Lee Adamson, PhD – Pollinator Conservation Specialist - East Region
Nancy is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist - East Region for the Xerces Society and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service East National Technology Support Center (ENTSC). She supports pollinator conservation care of the ENTSC in Greensboro, North Carolina. She studied bees important for crop pollination (primarily native bees) and meadow restoration in the mid-Atlantic, ran the horticulture and Master Gardener programs for Frederick County, Maryland’s Extension, and has long been involved in inventorying, collecting seed, and propagating native plants for habitat restoration. As Education Coordinator and Nursery Manager at Adkins Arboretum on the eastern shore of Maryland, she started a local ecotype propagation program following work with Bloomin’ Natives (now Chesapeake Natives). A former Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, she also worked as an intern with Cultural Survival in PetÚn, Guatemala.

GUEST SPEAKERS

Billy Johnson, Research Associate, Coastal Plain Experiment Station
Blair Sampson, PhD, Research Entomologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service

ABOUT THE XERCES SOCIETY

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 www.xerces.org.