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Building a Roadmap for Pollinator Conservation in a Changing World

Colorado Pollinator Network was established in 2016 with a mission to bring organizations together to work collaboratively to conserve, protect and create pollinator habitat while educating communities across the state of Colorado to protect our pollinators. The Network allows for organizations and individuals throughout Colorado to collaborate to make a positive impact on the health of our state pollinators. This group shares information about the best practices, resources and knowledge to support education initiatives, conservation, restoration and creation of habitat and research on pollinators in the state.

The 5th Annual Colorado Pollinator Summit will be held on Thursday, November 5th, 2020. This year we are welcoming internationally, nationally and regionally recognized pollinator experts to present and discuss the best way forward in pollinator conservation. As we find ourselves in unprecedented times, we have all learned to adapt to the challenges these times bring, and so too must we adapt to the challenges of pollinator conservation. Through this summit, a broad audience will come together from researchers, educators, land managers and policy experts to community organizers, homeowners and landowners to 1) explore the state of pollinator conservation in Colorado; 2) identify impediments to conservation action across disciplines; and 3) identify strategies to overcome the challenges of pollinator conservation here in Colorado and beyond. This year we are adopting an online format for everyone’s convenience and safety. We hope you’ll join us!

2020 Virtual Pollinator Summit

November 5, 2020

9am-5pm

Cost: $20 

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Keynote Speaker: Professor Dave Goulson, University of Sussex, England

We are in the midst of the 6th mass extinction event, with extinctions occurring faster than at any time in the last 65 million years. ‘Bioabundance’ is in decline, with recent studies showing that insects in particular seem to be disappearing fast. If it continues, this will have profound consequences for mankind and for our planet. Dr. Goulson will explain why insects are in decline, and suggest how we should tackle this crisis, first by turning our gardens and urban greenspaces into oases for life, and second by fundamentally changing the way we grow food.

Dave Goulson is Professor of Biology at University of Sussex, specializing in bee ecology. He has published more than 300 scientific articles on the ecology and conservation of bumblebees and other insects. He is the author of Bumblebees; Their Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation, published in 2010 by Oxford University Press, and of the Sunday Times bestseller A Sting in the Tale, a popular science book about bumble bees, published in 2013 by Jonathan Cape, and now translated into fourteen languages. This was followed by A Buzz in the Meadow in 2014, Bee Quest in 2017, and The Garden Jungle in 2019. Goulson founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006, a charity which has grown to 12,000 members. He was the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s Social Innovator of the Year in 2010, was given the Zoological Society of London’s Marsh Award for Conservation Biology in 2013, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2013 and given the British Ecological Society Public Engagement Award in 2014. In 2015 he was named number 8 in BBC Wildlife Magazine’s list of the top 50 most influential people in conservation. In 2018 and 2019 he was named as a “Highly Cited Researcher” by Thompson ISI.

Session 1: Education, Engagement and Equity: Inspiring Coloradans to Work for Change

Education is a key component of conservation efforts. Without an understanding across a broad range of audiences, about the important role pollinators play in the web of life, we lose out on the opportunities to garner support for the work we do. This panel brings together three examples of work being done on the ground to raise awareness and educate Coloradoans about pollinator conservation.

Moderator: Deryn Davidson, CSU Extension Horticulture Agent, Boulder County.

Speakers:

 

Parker McMullen Bushman

Parker is a dynamic speaker that engages audiences in new thinking around what it means to be a diversity change agent, an inclusive leader and building capacity for transformational change. Parker is currently the Colorado State University Extension Director for the City and County of Denver. Parker is also the founder and lead Justice and Equity Strategist for Ecoinclusive.


 

Lisa Mason, CSU Extension Horticulture Agent, Arapahoe County

Lisa is the CSU Extension Horticulture Agent in Boulder County and coordinator of Native Bee Watch, a citizen science program in Northern Colorado.

 


 

Andrea Montoya, Goss-Grove Pollinator Neighborhood Lead, Boulder, CO

Andrea is organizing and building the first pollinator pathway neighborhood in Boulder. Through this process she has learned how to work with experts, build native plant gardens on a shoe-string budget and inspire her neighbors.

Session 2: Policy Panel Discussion: Creating and Implementing Policies that Accelerate Pollinator Conservation

Colorado has a number of unique programs that have the potential to protect and enhance pollinator habitat on vast acres of public lands. During this panel we will hear from state leaders that are in a position to design and implement bold policies that can hasten the pace of pollinator conservation. Though state budgets have been dramatically cut, these panelists are innovating and leading. Their work can be held up as a model for what can be accomplished through policies that favor habitat enhancement for all types of lands.

Moderator: Sue Anderson, People & Pollinators Action Network Board of Directors

Organizer: Joyce Kennedy, Advocacy & Outreach Coordinator for People & Pollinators Action Network

 

Speakers:

 

Cindy Lair, Program Manager of the Colorado State Conservation Board and other conservation programs for the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Cindy manages the Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) and other conservation programs for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Cindy coordinates the Department’s implementation of a state Soil Health Program and works closely with partnering agencies and conservation districts to keep the focus on incentivizing innovation and voluntary conservation. She also represents the Department of Agriculture on critical natural resource/agricultural issues and serves on Governor Polis’ Greenhouse Gas Reduction Team.


 

Mindy Gottsegen, Conservation Services Manager of the Colorado State Land Board for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

Mindy has worked for the Colorado State Land Board for 13 years.  Her current responsibilities include developing and implementing a range of stewardship plans and programs that promote responsible stewardship of natural values and protection of threatened species and ecosystems on the agency’s 2.88 million acres of state trust land.  Mindy also manages the agency’s new ecosystem services program that involves restoration of degraded wetlands, streams, wildlife habitat through mitigation banks and a new voluntary mitigation program to enhance pollinator habitat on state trust lands.


 

Tim Mauck, Deputy Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, working across all DNR division and with the Governor’s Office to develop and coordinate policy

Tim works across all DNR divisions and with the Governor’s Office to develop and coordinate policy as well as managing day-to-day operations of the agency. Prior to joining the Department of natural resources, Tim served two terms as a Clear Creek County Commissioner and has worked in various capacities for local, state and federal governments, with a majority of his career focused on natural resource policy and management.

Session 3: Colorado’s Pollinator Research: Building Knowledge to Inform Conservation Action

In this session we’ll review a sampling of the wealth and diversity of pollinator research here in Colorado from a range of experts in pollination and community ecology. Topics within the panel will focus on the challenges and impediments not only to research itself, but to the translation of research into conservation action. The overall goal will be to identify or formulate strategies that can help researchers and others promote pollinator conservation.

Moderator: Dr. Adrian Carper, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Speakers:

 

David Inouye, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, University of Maryland, President of the Ecological Society of America, and Principal Investigator at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.

Dr. Inouye has studied pollinators and their interactions with flowers at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) in Crested Butte, CO for nearly 50 years. His long-term studies of high-elevation flowers and insect communities at RMBL offer unique insights into the effects of climate change on mountain and alpine ecosystems.


 

Dr. Julian Resasco, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Dr. Resasco’s research broadly encompasses how plant-pollinator interactions vary across space and through time. His research approach uses networks to explore characteristics of entire communities of interacting plants and pollinators, and how they change in response to disturbances such as habitat loss and fragmentation.


 

Jessica Mullins, Graduate Assistant, Entomology Section, Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Jessica is a master’s student in the Museum and Field Studies Program at the CU Museum of Natural History. Her thesis research is exploring how pollinator communities change in response to catastrophic environmental events and how human management practices impact resilience to or recovery after catastrophic change.

Session 4: Managing our Lands to Protect Pollinators and Build Resilient Farms, Rangeland and Cities 

Pollinators and other wildlife are essential partners for the health and productivity of our grasslands, farms and ranches. Healthy ecosystems provide resilience and multiple benefits in the face of unpredictable weather events. Cities also play an important role and can provide refuges and safe spaces to replenish declining pollinator species. Learn from the experts how to manage your farm, ranch or city to support pollinator conservation. Whether you’re at the beginning stages of wanting to learn more about develop a program or are well underway in creating pollinator habitat, you’ll learn about programs and the most current research that will help you implement best management practices.

Moderator: Dr. Rella Abernathy, Applied Ecological Programs Coordinator, City of Boulder

Speakers:

Jon Lundgren, ECDYIS Foundation and Blue Dasher Farm

Dr. Lundgren is an agroecologist, Director ECDYSIS Foundation, and CEO for Blue Dasher Farm. Lundgren’s research and education programs are helping applied science evolve in ways that foster the movement in regenerative agriculture.


 

Dusty Downey, Conservation Ranching Program, Audubon Society

Dusty Downey is a Community Naturalist and the Conservation Ranching program lead for Audubon Rockies, a program that garners a premium price for beef and provides a unique opportunity for ranchers to showcase their excellent management practices.

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Molly Martin, Bee City USA Coordinator, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Molly coordinates the Xerces Society’s Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA programs, initiatives of Xerces that support communities in their commitment to creating sustainable habitat for pollinators.

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