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CO Pollinator Summit

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

8:15am - 4:00pm

Denver Botanic Gardens


  • 8:15 – 8:45 am Welcome and opening remarks

  • 8:50 – 9:50 am Keynote from Dr. Stephen Buchmann, one of the world’s leading authorities on bees and pollination and co-author of the seminal book, The Forgotten Pollinators

  • 10 – 10:50 am Session 1 panel

    • Exploring the impacts of honey bees on native pollinators: balancing pollinator management with biodiversity conservation – Dr. Keng-Lou James Hung, Dr. Christy Briles, Theresa Beck (Dr. Adrian Carper, moderator)

  • 11-11:50 am Session 2 presentation

    • Health impacts of native-plants policy scenarios in Denver – Dr. Michael Garber (Amy Yarger, moderator)

  • 12-1 pm Lunch and networking

  • 1-1:15 pm Call to Action from David Sirota, award-winning journalist and bestselling author living in Denver, Colorado. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work helping Adam McKay create the story for the blockbuster film DON’T LOOK UP, which became one of the most widely viewed movies in Netflix’s history.

  • 1:20 – 2:10 pm Session 3 panel

    • Leveraging Laws for Pollinators – Rep. Lisa Cutter, Rep. Meg Froelich, Rep. Cathy Kipp, Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, DNR Deputy Director Tim Mauck (David Sirota, moderator)

  • 2:20-3:10 pm Session 4 panel

    • How Can Pollinator Programs Spread Their Wings? From Marketing to Motivation – Steve Armstead, Kate Larson (Deryn Davidson and Kate Hogan, moderators)

  • 3:20-3:30pm Closing remarks

  • 3:30-4:00 pm Happy hour and networking

The Colorado Pollinator Summit Planning Team:

  • Rella Abernathy, City of Boulder

  • Sonya Anderson, Denver Botanic Gardens

  • Adrian Carper, University of Colorado-Boulder

  • Mary Ann Colley, Butterfly Pavilion

  • Deryn Davidson, Colorado State University Extension

  • Kate Hogan, Denver Audubon

  • Joyce Kennedy, People and Pollinators Action Network

  • Amy Yarger, Butterfly Pavilion

Keynote: 8:50 – 9:50 am Stephen Buchmann Stephen Buchmann is a pollination ecologist specializing in bees, and an adjunct professor with the departments of Entomology and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. A Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, he has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and eleven books, including The Forgotten Pollinators, with its prescient (1996) warning of global pollinator declines, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He lives in the Sonoran Desert of Tucson, Arizona, with his life partner, estate planning attorney Kay Richter. Buchmann is a frequent guest on many public media venues including NPR’s All Things Considered, and Science Friday. Reviews of his books have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time and Discover magazines and other national publications. He is an engaging public speaker on topics of flowers, pollinators, and the natural world. His many awards include the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, and an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book. Website: Session 1: 10 – 10:50am Exploring the impacts of honey bees on native pollinators: balancing pollinator management with biodiversity conservation The western (formerly European) honey bee is an extremely important agricultural commodity, given our dependence on it for the production of honey bee products (i.e. honey, wax, etc.), but is also culturally important due to both its role in agriculture and its unique ability to capture the fascination of hobbyists and scientists alike. Humans have thus introduced this species around the globe, making it the single most ubiquitous species of bee in both managed and natural ecosystems throughout the world. However, while honey bees may be important to humans, scientists have known and many demonstrated that honey bees also impact the ecosystems in which they are introduced and subsequently the conservation of native pollinators and plants. This session will bring together a panel of honey bee and native bee researchers with honey bee keepers, to explore what we know about how managing for honey bees impacts native bees and plants, and discuss how best to balance interest in honey bee keeping, with the need to conserve native species. Moderator: Dr. Adrian Carper, Research Associate Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Museum of Natural History University of Colorado, Boulder Panelists: Dr. Keng-Lou James Hung, Assistant Professor (REMOTE) Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory & Oklahoma Biological Survey The University of Oklahoma Dr. Hung is a pollination ecologist who’s research focuses broadly on plant-pollinator mutualisms, and how environmental factors influence pollinator communities and the pollination services they provide. His lab works in both natural and human-modified ecosystems, studying a diversity of topics from how climate change and invasive species impact pollinator and plant ecology and evolution, to pollinator conservation in the Great Plains, and techniques for effective monitoring of pollinator populations. As a member of the Oklahoma Biological Survey and the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory, he is also working to inventory the bees of Oklahoma and build distributional maps of bee species within the state. Dr. Hung has also studied the impacts of managed honey bees on natural ecosystems, and recently hosted a symposium at the International Union for the Study of Social Insects on the topic. Dr. Christy E. Briles, Assistant Professor (IN-PERSON) Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences University of Colorado, Denver Dr. Briles is biogeographer and paleoecologist who studies how humans and climate have influenced ecosystems across space and through time. Her research in palynology (the study of pollen) and passion for beekeeping, led her to develop the CU Denver Bee Project. Its goals are to conduct research on beekeeper practices in the greater Denver metro area and how they impact honey bee health and foraging patterns in urban and suburban environments. More recently, she has become concerned about native bees, has been studying their diversity around Denver, and is teaching about bee diversity, ecology, and biogeography at the University of Colorado, Denver. Session 2: 11:00 – 11:50 am Health impacts of native-plants policy scenarios in Denver Presenter: Michael D. Garber, PhD MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences Colorado State University Dr. Michael Garber will present research estimating the impact on mortality of proposed policy scenarios to add native plants to the City of Denver. Epidemiologic evidence suggests living near green space is beneficial for human health. Specifically, research suggests exposure to green space can positively impact mental health, physical activity, socializing, air pollution, and urban heat. Much of this research does not consider native plants and vegetation that supports pollinators, specifically. After conducting interviews with local stakeholders engaged in advocacy, research, and policy related to green space, pollinators, and native plants in the Denver area, we proposed four policy scenarios for increasing levels of native plants in the City of Denver. We then estimated the impact of those policy scenarios on mortality through their effect on urban greening. Dr. Michael Garber is a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University working with Dr. David Rojas-Rueda studying the impact of green space on human health. Previously, he conducted research estimating the effect of paved trails and other types of bicycle infrastructure on bicycling levels and bicycling safety in Atlanta. Michael is broadly interested in how the environment—built, social, natural—affects human health and in methods for estimating those impacts. He received his PhD from the Department of Epidemiology at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in 2020. In 2021, he received the Rothman Prize, awarded by the editors of the journal Epidemiology for the best article published in the journal that year. Call to Action 1-1:15 pm David Sirota David Sirota is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author living in Denver, Colorado. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work helping Adam McKay create the story for the blockbuster film DON’T LOOK UP, which became one of the most widely viewed movies in Netflix’s history. McKay and Sirota also won the Writers Guild of America’s 2022 award for best original screenplay. Sirota is the founder and editor of The Lever, an editor at large at Jacobin Magazine and a columnist at The Guardian. He served as Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign speechwriter in 2020 (click here to read the New York Times profile of his campaign work). He also created Audible’s financial crisis podcast series MELTDOWN, which was named one of the best podcasts of the year by The Atlantic and Uproxx. Session 3: 1:20-2:10 pm Leveraging Laws for Pollinators Join state leaders, for an exciting recap of a great year for pollinators at the state Capitol. The state’s premier pollinator champions will share their winning strategies and their vision to move the pollinator protection movement forward. This year’s successes include the Turf Replacement Program and the Pollinating Insects Study. The new Pollinator License Plate is on the road to raise funds for pollinator habitat. Hear what’s next in 2023. How do we leverage pollinator-related policy wins to accelerate pollinator protection? How best can we enact additional policies for transformational change? What are the levers that give power to this movement and how do we tear down barriers to innovation? Get more engaged and learn how these policies can shape and scale on-the-ground action. Facilitator: TBA Panel Participants: Representative Lisa Cutter As an award-winning public relations and communications professional, Lisa believes deep listening and powerful storytelling are the heart of building relationships and communities. She has learned much working with a variety of businesses and nonprofits that she carries into her public service daily. A member of the Wildfire Matters Interim and Energy and Environment committees, she has focused a great deal of time and effort on environmental issues. This includes reforming Colorado’s waste and recycling system, mitigating and preventing wildfires, and protecting our air, water and ecosystems. Representative Meg Froelich Representative Meg Froelich is completing her second term in the Colorado House of Representatives and has served as the Caucus Co-Chair, Vice Chair of the Transportation and Local Governments Committee and sits on the Energy and Environment Committee. Froelich is passionate about preserving Colorado’s air, land and water. She has fought Climate Change through increased energy efficiency, biodiversity, investments in electrification and by tackling pollution.This past Colorado 2022 General Assembly she sponsored several environmental bills that are now law: Oversight of Chemicals Used in Oil & Gas,(First-in-the-nation mandatory reporting of chemicals used in O&G operations), HB22-1348, Updates to State Forest Service Tree Nursery, (investing as a precursor to a statewide one million tree initiative) HB22-1323, and Air Quality Improvement Investment, (which includes e-bikes and electric school buses), SB22-193, and Protections for Pollinators, SB22-199. Representative Cathy Kipp Cathy has served in the Colorado House since January of 2019 representing House District 52. She currently serves on the House Education, Finance, and Appropriations Committees. Cathy Kipp lives in southeast Fort Collins, Colorado. Cathy and her husband have twin 24-year-old sons. Cathy started actively volunteering in Poudre School District schools when her boys entered Kindergarten, and she soon became an active volunteer at the school district level, serving as a locally elected member of the Poudre School District School Board from 2011 to 2019, also serving for a term as Board President. Cathy’s focuses on the board included starting monthly listening sessions to make sure the community’s voice was heard and leading the board in our education advocacy efforts at both the state and federal levels. Cathy has a bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of California and spent 12 years working as a database developer prior to leaving the workforce to raise her children. Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis Senator Sonya Jaquez (pronounced Hawk-kez) Lewis is the State Senator for Senate District 17, which is Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville. In 2019, she was sworn in as Boulder County’s first Latina and first LGBTQ elected official to the General Assembly, and honored as a National Council of State Legislator’s, Henry Toll fellow. Last year, Senator Sonya was named Colorado Legislator of the Year by four different Statewide Non-Profit Organizations. Senator Jaquez Lewis is one of the Co-Chairs of the Colorado Legislative Animal Welfare (CLAW) Caucus, which is a nonpartisan caucus that works on legislation concerning Animal welfare and rights. It is one of the largest Caucuses in the State Capitol. Sonya has been a leader in Pollinator legislation since she was elected as a House Rep in 2019. She and Rep Kipp ran the first Pollinator awareness bill that resulted in our first Colorado pollinator license plate. Last legislative Session, Senator Jaquez Lewis was able to overcome some heavy weighted lobby groups including the Pharmaceutical manufacturers, Big Ag, and the Chemical and Pesticide Industries to pass the first Statewide Pollinator study in Colorado. Senator Sonya has been the prime sponsor of the Consumer Protection Act For Dog And Cat Purchasers, Prohibiting the Hunting of Bobcats, Lynx And Mountain lions and she hopes to work on Preventing the Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption and Pesticide regulation in the next session. She and her spouse, Allison are the guardians of 2 small cats and tons of pollinators ontheir small farm in eastern Boulder County. DNR Deputy Director Tim Mauck As Deputy Director, Tim works across all DNR divisions and with the Governor’s Office to develop and coordinate policy as well as manage 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 from 2010 – 2019. As Commissioner, he concentrated on recreation and tourism, health care and bringing about sensible transportation improvements along the Interstate 70 Mountain Corridor. Tim was called on twice to testify to Congress on the Administration’s clean water rulemaking in 2015. Tim has worked in various capacities for local, state and federal governments, with a majority of his career focused on natural resource policy and management. In 2018, Tim worked with a diverse group of stakeholders to launch a regional initiative focused on managing the impacts of growth on Colorado’s Front Range public lands. A Colorado native, Tim resides in Idaho Springs, and is passionate about the outdoors. He serves as the chair of the Clear Creek Greenway Authority, a local nonprofit organization working to develop a multi-purpose recreational trail to the Continental Divide. Session 4: 2:20-3:10 pm From Marketing to Motivation How do you market native pollinators and sell nature to your community? In many ways, your personal motivation, passion and enthusiasm for Colorado pollinators directly impacts the success of your marketing and your ability to motivate others. This panel will offer opportunities to hear from industry experts who have successfully scaled their conservation programs: Kate Larson from Resource Central and Steve Armstead from a new collaboration between the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and the City of Boulder. Panelists will discuss key successes and learning curves from growing their conservation programs. How can these examples of success be used to help scale and grow your own pollinator conservation work? By using an example of a Pollinator Action Plan, we hope to provide effective tools to help you implement your own conservation work on both a micro and a macro scale. Panel Participants: Steve Armstead Colorado Front Range Pollinator Conservation and Nature-Based Climate Solutions Specialist Xerces Society Steve Armstead is the Colorado Front Range Pollinator Conservation and Nature-Based Climate Solutions Specialist for the Xerces Society.This is a new position created by the Xerces Society to partner on Colorado Front Range efforts to coordinate, manage and build high quality, connected, climate-resilient pollinator habitat. Steve has extensive experience working in natural lands management, environmental planning, and community engagement through his prior career with the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks program. Steve holds a Master’s Degree in Museum and Field Studies from the University of Colorado – Boulder, where he studied and surveyed butterflies. Kate Larson Program Director for Water and Energy Programs Resource Central Kate Larson is the Program Director for Water and Energy programs at Resource Central, a community non-profit putting conservation into action. Throughout her 15-year career in the environmental field, Kate has become an expert at developing and scaling programs that are both highly impactful and have broad appeal. Kate’s work at Resource Central reaches thousands of individuals each year, empowering them to make more sustainable choices through participating in programs that are easy, approachable, and fun. Some of Resource Central’s most recognizable programs include Garden In A Box, Slow the Flow and the new and rapidly growing Lawn Replacement Program. Kate has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and an extensive background in non-profit management, community partnership building, and waterwise landscaping.


1 Comment

Nov 03, 2022

Interesting to note - not a real beekeeper in the lot.



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