NRCS Logo 


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.

Join the Xerces Society's

E-newsletter List

Join My Mailing List


Ashley Minnerath 
The Xerces Society 
(855) 232-6639 ext. 102


Registration $45 per person and includes a copy of Attracting Native Pollinators. A late fee of $5 will be added to registrations received after February 21.

Lunch is not included. Please plan on bringing a sack lunch with you to the course. Due to construction, there are no nearby options for purchasing lunch.

Canceled registrations can be refunded until March 1st, 2014.


Friday March 7, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EST

Add to Calendar 


UNC Asheville 
Highsmith Student Union
Alumni Hall, Room 159 (ground floor)
One University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804

Driving Directions 


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

Special thank you to Bee City USA, NC Cooperative Extension, NC NRCS and SWCDs, the Organic Growers School, the Student Environmental Center and the Office of Sustainability at UNC Asheville, Lenoir-Rhyne University  Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, Snow Creek Landscaping, Asheville Bee Charmer, and NC Wildlife Resources Commission for supporting this course. 

Photo Credit

Sweat bee, Agapostemon sp., on purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea by Nancy Lee Adamson, Xerces Society.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Asheville, North Carolina
March 7, 2014
9:00 am - 4:00 pm EST

This Pollinator Short Course precedes the:
2014 Organic Growers School Annual Spring Conference
March 8 - 9, 2014

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.

*Continuing Education Credit Available*
Certified Crop Adviser (5 CEUs) 
Society of American Foresters (5 CFE credits)
The Wildlife Society (5.5 contact hours)


  • 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


Welcome from Asheville City Council and USDA NRCS

Module 1 Introduction and Importance of Pollinator Conservation

  • Pollination economics and the role of native bees in crop production
  • Pollination biology
  • Bee City USA - raising public awareness to protect pollinators

Module 2 Basic Bee and Other Beneficial Insect Biology

  • Basic identification
  • Identifying pollinator nest sites
  • Introduction to predators and parasitoids that can help control crop pests

Module 3 Bee-Friendly Farming

  • The value of natural habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects
  • Mitigating pesticide damage
  • Protecting nesting sites

Module 4 Create a Pollinator Paradise

  • Designing a garden that provides season-long beauty and critical habitat for pollinators

Module 5 Open Laboratory (outdoors, weather permitting)

  • Field observation of pollinators and plants, native plant selection, and land-use discussion
  • Using the Pollinator Habitat Assessment Form & Guide

Module 6 Habitat Restoration

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

Module 7 Current Farm Bill Provisions

  • Kara Cassels of the NRCS Asheville Field Office will highlight USDA programs and practices for pollination conservation

Module 8 Additional Resources

Module 9 Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle


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 Cooperative 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.

Debbie Roos, Extension Agent, Agriculture - Sustainable/Organic Production, Chatham County, NC
Debbie Roos is an Agriculture Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension where she is responsible for programming in the areas of commercial vegetable production, organic production, alternative agricultural enterprises, forestry, and beekeeping. Debbie worked for three years as an agroforestry Extension agent and technical trainer for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, and later completed graduate degrees in applied anthropology and horticulture at the University of Florida. Debbie delivers educational programming to growers through regular workshops and her award-winning Growing Small Farms website ( She also works with area farmers’ markets and is involved in statewide efforts to strengthen local food systems. Debbie is passionate about pollinator conservation and has planted demonstration habitats and developed resources to teach others about the importance of bees and other pollinators to our agriculture ecosystem. 


Phyllis Stiles, Bee City USA

North Carolina 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