Intended Audience

This training is provided for anyone who has a curiosity for bumble bees and flowers, and an interest in contributing to an important citizen science project to provide a better understanding of the status of native bumble bees in the Pacific Northwest.

This is a free online training.

Participants are asked to use the knowledge and skills provided by the training to participate in the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas Project.


Saturday, May 16, 2020 
12:00 PM to 4:00 PM PDT
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This is a Zoom Webinar. 

Follow the registration link buttons to enroll. Your confirmation email from Zoom will include a link to join the webinar.

Registration Contact

Karina Contreras, The Xerces Society
(503) 232-6639, Ext. 123

Day-of Contact

Rich Hatfield, The Xerces Society

Reasonable Accommodations

The Xerces Society is an equal-opportunity provider and employer, and provides reasonable accommodations for in-person events.

This Zoom webinar offers some accessibility features for attendees. Visit the following Zoom link for: 

Keyboard Shortcuts

More Accessibility Features

The instructor of this course will share a recording that includes an audio transcript with you after the event. If you need any assistance or have questions about Zoom accessibility:





Special thanks to our partners for their enormous support and to Zoom for making this virtual course possible. 

About the Xerces Society

The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is a trusted source for science-based information and advice. We collaborate with people and institutions at all levels and our work to protect pollinators encompasses all landscapes. Our team draws together experts from the fields of habitat restoration, entomology, botany, and conservation biology with a single focus—protecting the life that sustains us. To learn more about our work, visit

Photo Credits

Banner photo: Bombus kirbiellus
Rich Hatfield / The Xerces Society

Side bar photo: Bombus occidentalis
Rich Hatfield / The Xerces Society



Interactive Online Workshop
Saturday, May 16, 2020
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM PDT


Thank you for your interest in becoming a Bumble Bee Atlas citizen scientist! If you would like to join the live training, please register for this event using any of the Register Now links.

Prior to the training, check out the online course materials:

And don't forget to visit us after the webinar to access a recording of the training: 

See you soon!


To recruit and train volunteers during this time of physical distancing due to the coronavirus**, we are announcing a virtual training via webinar. Participants will learn about bumble bees, including how to collect and submit data to the PNW Bumble Bee Atlas Project.

Please join us in a collaborative effort to track and conserve the bumble bees of the Pacific Northwest!

**We understand that the current situation with the coronavirus is constantly evolving and differs by community. We fully anticipate that we will be able to have a field season this year, but that situation could change quickly -- and differ by location. The most important consideration during this sensitive time is personal and community health. Please follow all relevant regulations and the advice of health care professionals when developing your survey plans for the Atlas. Don't hesitate to stay closer to home if that is the right thing for you and/or your community; the health of our volunteers is of paramount importance. Thank you! 

Learn about bumble bees, their conservation status, and how to participate in the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas during this training. In recent years, the story of vanishing bees has become a common theme in news reports and popular culture. In most cases, these reports have focused on the disappearance of honey bees, a non-native species introduced to North America from Europe. The larger, often underappreciated story is that while honey bees are a popular and important species, native bees are also suffering, and in some cases, their fates are far worse. This is particularly true of some of North America’s native bumble bees.

Idaho, Oregon and Washington are home to nearly 30 species of bumble bees, and several of them face an uncertain future. The western bumble bee has declined dramatically - especially in the western portion of its range, and other species including Morrison’s bumble bee and the Suckley cuckoo bumble bee are in decline. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State University, and the Xerces Society have collaborated to launch a citizen science project to collect data to better understand the status of our native bumble bees.

Please join this project and help collect critical information on Pacific Northwest bumble bees. With your help, we can create a team of trained volunteers equipped with cameras and vials, and collect bumble bee data throughout our region. Your participation will allow us to quickly and efficiently cover all three states, collect scientific quality data, and contribute to the local, regional, and global understanding of bumble bee distributions.


The focus of the training will be to introduce participants to the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas Project and familiarize participants with several aspects of bumble bee biology. In addition to basic life-history and ecology, participants will learn which species are most imperiled throughout the Pacific Northwest, the threats they face, and management techniques to help protect them. The primary focus of the workshop will be dedicated to learning different techniques for surveying and observing bumble bees, best principles for data collection, and how to submit observations to contribute data to the Atlas.

The training will have several different components. The morning will be broken up into 3 different modules:

Module 1: Introduction to the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas Project

Module 2: Bumble Bee Ecology and Conservation

Module 3: Bumble Bee Survey Techniques and Observation Submission

The course materials can be found here:


Rich Hatfield, Senior Conservation Biologist, The Xerces Society 
Rich has a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology from San Francisco State University. His degree focused on the habitat requirements of bumble bees in the Sierra Nevada. He has authored several publications on bumble bees, including a recently published set of management guidelines entitled Conserving Bumble BeesHe is the Red List Authority for the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Bumble Bee Specialist Group, and recently completed an analysis of the status of all North American bumble bees. He has investigated native bee pollination in agricultural systems in the Central Valley of California, and studied endangered butterflies in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and throughout the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his work as a research biologist, he has extensive classroom teaching experience with a focus on conservation biology, ecology and sustainability.


This short course is made possible thanks to the support of Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, The Oregon Bee Project, and the USDA-NIFA.

The PNW Bumble Bee Atlas is a collaborative effort between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Oregon State University, and the Oregon Department of Agriculture to track and conserve the bumble bees of Oregon, Washington and Idaho.