Best Practices for Pollinators Summit 2021

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Best Practices for Pollinators Annual Summit

About this Event

Learn ecologically sound land management practices that promote pollinators, climate resilience, clean water and lands; practical knowledge, old world methods and innovation on pesticide reduction, habitat installation, soil health and more.

Join every talk, or attend your favorites:

All three days $24

  • March 2, 2021: Tues, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • March 3, 2021: Wed, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • March 4, 2021: Thurs, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

87% of Minnesota citizens are concerned about pollinator decline, and justifiably so. Bees and pollinators are struggling, putting both natural ecosystems and agricultural systems at risk. 

Who should attend:  Land stewards (private, public, community, county, state), policymakers, public works, environmental & parks commissions, conservation planners, roadside managers, parks & trails managers, community leaders, public & private area landscapers, conservationists, and educators.

Brought to you by Pollinator Friendly Alliance and Xerces SocietyThanks to our sponsors:  Minnesota Native Landscapes,  Natural Shore TechnologiesRamsey County Soil & Water Conservation, Food Building and Jonathan Kvasnik, ChFC Environmental & Social Responsible Investing.


Tuesday, March 2: 9 am - 2 pm

Native Plant Powerhouses for Pollinators. Emphasis on Specialist Bees, Nesting and More. Heather Holm, Biologist, Pollinator Conservationist and Author -and- Sarah Foltz Jordan, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Xerces Society.

Soil Health and Invertebrates: Working Below and Above Ground.  Eric Lee-Mäder, Pollinator Program Co-Director, Xerces Society.

Endangered Species Conservation and Policy: The Bigger Picture.  Dr. Tara Cornelisse, Senior Scientist and Jess Tyler, Staff Scientist, Center for Biological Diversity.

Habitat Restoration Collaborations.  Dan Shaw, Senior Ecologist/Vegetation Specialist, BWSR -and- Bre Bauerly, Habitat Specialist, Minnesota Native Landscapes -and- Laurie Schneider, Executive Director, Pollinator Friendly Alliance.

Integrated Pest Management and Warrior Plant Species for Weed ControlNick Fuller, Owner and Restoration Specialist, Natural Communities Native Plants.

FIRE! History, Carbon and Biodiversity. Stephen Thomforde, Senior Restoration Ecologist, Stantec.

Wednesday, March 3:

Deep Savanna. Grasslands have become the most evolutionary advanced, functional, productive and provisional (ecosystem integrity) terrestrial ecosystem. Stephen Thomforde, Senior Restoration Ecologist, Stantec.

Nature's Answer to Most Questions? SoilDr. Ann Marie Journey, Agriculture, Soil & Aquatic Entomologist.

Shrubs & Trees for Pollinators. Heather Holm, Biologist, Pollinator Conservationist and Author .

Chemical Free Buckthorn Control . Bre Bauerly, Habitat Specialist, Minnesota Native Landscapes.

Transitioning Away from Pesticide-Dependent Practices for Pollinator and Ecosystem Preservation.  Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides.

Pesticide Panel Q&A with Jay Feldman, Beyond Pesticides and Dr. Vera Krischik, University of Minnesota.

Jewels of the Night: Conservation of Fireflies. Candace Fallon, Senior Endangered Species Conservation Biologist, Xerces Society.

Thursday, March 4:

Managing for Diverse Prairie Habitats with Fire and Grazing. Chris Helzer, Nebraska Director of Science at The Nature Conservancy, and author of the Prairie Ecologist blog.

Boots on the Ground: Chemical Free Park Management. Dan MacSwain, Natural Resources Coordinator and Habitat Specialist, Washington County Parks.

Evaluating Seed Mix Composition for Pollinator Habitat. Karin Jokela, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner, Xerces Society.

Large Area Turf Sustainable Maintenance. Ryan Anderson, Integrated Pest Management Institute of America.

Conservation Haying. Sean Wickhem, Field Operations Manager, Landbridge Ecological.

Monarch Butterfly Conservation & Status. Wendy Caldwell, Executive Director, Monarch Joint Venture.


Ryan Anderson, Community IPM Outreach Specialist, IPM Institute of North America. A 2016 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Fellow, Mr. Anderson has extensive experience advancing science-based solutions in urban and residential communities highlighted by his leadership of IPM’s Midwest Grows Green sustainable landscaping initiative that has recruited 36 pesticide-free parks, 30 point-of-purchase retailers and more than 700 pledges.

Bre Bauerly, Project Manager and Habitat Restoration Specialist, Minnesota Native Landscapes. Bre's background is in plant and wetland ecology and ecological restoration.

Wendy Caldwell, Executive Director, Monarch Joint Venture. The MJV is a national nonprofit dedicated to conserving monarch butterflies and the habitat that sustains them and many other species. Wendy has worked in monarch conservation for 14 years, engaging partner organizations across the US to restore habitat, advance scientific efforts, and increase awareness and action through education and outreach.

Tara Cornelisse, Senior Scientist, Center for Biological Diversity. Dr. Cornelisse works on species conservation within the Endangered Species Program with a focus on arthropods. Previously, she was an assistant professor of ecology and conservation at Canisius College. Her research centered around the populations and habitat requirements of insects, from endangered tiger beetles to native bees and monarch butterflies. She holds a doctoral degree in environmental studies from U of California Santa Cruz.

Candace Fallon, Senior Endangered Species Conservation Biologist manages federal contracts focusing on the conservation and management of at-risk invertebrate species. Candace works with a diverse range of taxa including fireflies, butterflies, beetles, aquatic macroinvertebrates and freshwater and terrestrial mollusks. She is coauthor of Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects.

Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides. Jay has dedicated himself to finding solutions to pesticide problems after working with farmworkers and small farmers in rural America. Jay cofounded Beyond Pesticides and tracked chemical effects, regulatory actions and pesticide law. He has a Masters in urban and regional planning with a focus on health policy, and completed a 5 year term on the National Organic Standards Board.

Sarah Foltz Jordan, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Habitat Restoration Specialist, Great Lakes Region, Xerces Society. Sarah leads Xerces' upper Midwest native bee and monarch habitat restoration projects, working closely with farmers, agencies, and conservation groups to promote pollinators on farms and in natural areas. She has authored comprehensive documents about the biology and conservation needs of nearly 200 rare invertebrates, along with numerous pollinator-related fact sheets, guidebooks, and educational tools.

Chris Helzer is the Nature Conservancy’s Director of Science in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and share those lessons with other land stewards. He also works to raise awareness about the value of prairies and prairie conservation through photography, writing, and presentations. Chris's photos can frequently be seen in publications and on websites of The Nature Conservancy, and as a contributor of text and photos to Nebraskaland magazine and Wildflower magazine. He's authored two books published by the University of Iowa Press – “The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States” and “Hidden Prairie: Photographing Life in One Square Meter”. Chris lives in Aurora, Nebraska, a beautiful small town right on the edge of tallgrass and mixed-grass prairie.

Heather Holm is a biologist, pollinator conservationist, and author of numerous books including Pollinators of Native Plants, and Bees, Wasps: Their Biology, Diversity, and Role as Beneficial Insects and Pollinators of Native Plants. Heather’s expertise includes the interactions between native pollinators and native plants, and the natural history and biology of native bees and predatory wasps occurring in the Upper Midwest and Northeast. More information is online at pollinatorsnativeplants.com

Karin Jokela, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner, Xerces Society. Karin is a pollinator conservation planner and partner biologist based in southeast Minnesota. She collaborates with NRCS staff in Minnesota and Wisconsin to provide individual consulting to farmers on habitat restoration and pollinator-friendly farm management practices, and serves as an adviser to staff of other conservation organizations. Karin received her M.S. in ecology from Iowa State University.

Ann Marie Journey, PhD, is an agricultural, soil and aquatic entomologist. She recently served four years as the ACES Soil Health Coordinator with Minnesota NRCS and has been the Minneapolis team leader for the Hennepin County Wetland Health Evaluation Program since 2008. Leveraging a career in research, government and education/outreach, she brings an unusually broad perspective to the field of soil health.

Vera Krischik, PhD, Associate Professor, performs research and offers extension education for pollinator conservation biocontrols, nontarget effects of insecticides, best practices for pollinators, and integrated pest management (IPM) on landscape, nursery and greenhouse crops. Dr. Krischik is the founder and principal investigator at CUES, Center for Urban Ecology & Sustainability. CUES strives to educate landscape professionals and residential landowners about ways to embrace environmental stewardship by practicing sustainable land management.

Eric Lee-Mäder is the Pollinator Conservation and Agricultural Biodiversity Co-Director at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (www.xerces.org). In this role Eric works across the world with farmers, major food companies, and agencies such as the USDA to enhance biodiversity in agricultural lands. Since 2008, Eric and his team have supported large-scale wildflower restoration for pollinators across more than 900,000 acres across the United States. He is the author of several books including Attracting Native Pollinators, and Farming with Beneficial Insects.

Dan MacSwain, Natural Resources Coordinator and Habitat Specialist, Washington County Parks. Dan oversees six county parks in Washington County where he advocated and implemented chemical-free best practices including burning, grazing, conservation haying, cover and smother cropping, soil health, and mold board. Washington County Parks has pledged to convert and restore 200 acres back to wild prairie and oak savanna over the next couple of years.

Laurie Schneider, Executive Director, Pollinator Friendly Alliance. Grew a grassroots local group into a dynamic regional conservation non-profit with work that focuses on advocating protections for pollinators, increasing chemical-free habitat and educating public and private land stewards on ecologically sound practices.

Stephen Thomforde is a Senior Ecologist with Stantec, Farmer and Educator. His experience encompasses 25 years of innovative ecological restoration, using cutting edge principles, e.g. ecosystem phenomenology, keystone processes (grazing), and disturbance theory coupled to a strong natural history, in grassland, savanna, and wetland projects.

Jess Tyler is a Staff Scientist focusing on pollinator conservation at the Center for Biological Diversity. Jess's background includes work related to urban pollinators, urban forest canopy, stream restoration, and in agriculture. He holds a master's degree in environmental science from Portland State University.

Sean Wickhem is the Field Operations Manager at Landbridge Ecological offering ecological design, land management, ecological restoration, native plants, and installation. Sean says "the natural world is highly complex, and I'm humbled when studying and managing a system where the smallest changes can have the largest impacts".

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