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514May 4-8 Native Bee ID Course - Shepherdstown, WV - Free Tuition

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  • Sam Droege
    Dec 18, 2008


      Last year Rob Jean and I ran a class on species level bee identification at the fabulous National Conservation Training Center.  


      They have excellent lab facilities, great lodging, and good food, but the course had a tuition of $850.00 and that was raised to over $900.00 earlier this year.  After discussing the fact that most people couldn't afford that rate the NCTC staff have dropped all tuition costs for the course.   Additionally, while staying and eating at the NCTC is relatively inexpensive you don't have to stay there and can stay in town or camp off-site if you like.  

      The announcement for the course is below.  It will be run in about the same way Rob Jean and I run the ones at Patuxent, however, because everyone is working in the same room and they have great AV equipment we will be able to show a lot of identification feature via direct microscope video feed.  Another difference is that the NCTC is running all the logistical work and you will need to sign up through the DOI-Learn website rather than simply emailing me (note that it still may say there is a tuition charge but that will be changed soon).  They also make the final selections for who participates and I am not sure if I have much influence there.  If the course fills then we will have 2 additional instructors, who I will be contacting to see if they are available.  It is very unlikely that there will be another course until later in Fall this year and due to general funding problems there may not be another one for quite a while....so you may want to capitalize on this now.  
      When you sign up go ahead and email me (sdroege@...) to let me know that you have signed up so I can cross-check with NCTC at the end.




      USFWS – NCTC Training Announcement

      Native Bee Identification, Ecology, Research and Monitoring

      Date: May 4 - 8, 2009 Location: NCTC, Shepherdstown, WV

      Length: 5 days; 36 hours Tuition: $0 – Changed from $950 on 12/15/08

      Course Description: North America is one of the biodiversity hotspots for bee species with nearly 4000 species occurring north of Mexico. So crucial are these insects to our landscape that without them most of our plant communities would disappear. Yet despite their importance very little is known about their conservation status. Even the most basic information regarding distribution and rarity is sketchy to completely absent resulting in the lack of locality or state lists for most regions. Recent work on bee survey techniques have provided a means to design and accomplish large scale surveys using simple, volunteer friendly tools. While it is now easy to survey bees, the identification of the resulting catch has become a limiting factor.

      The most important goal of this course is to provide participants the tools necessary to identify bees to species. To do that instructor ratios will be kept at 1 instructor to 6 participants and there will be an emphasis on learning to use online guides and other keys to identification along with good microscope skills. In conjunction with learning identification skills there will be 2-3 daily lectures on bee natural history, monitoring, and research techniques. We will be going out in the field throughout the week to set traps and net bees so that participants see the entire spectrum of field to microscope work. Numerous identified surplus bee specimens will be available to all participants to start their own collections and participants are encouraged to bring any bee specimens they have as instructors will be available to help with identification issues.

      Who should attend: Federal, state, county and municipal agencies, private consulting firms, citizen volunteers, neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, and teachers, performing native pollinator assessments or monitoring programs; with a desire to improve their identification skills.

      Objectives: At the end of the training, each participant will be able to:

      Describe key characteristics and life histories of all the North American genera of bees east of the Mississippi River.

      Identify native bees to species using Discoverlife online identification guides and other resources.

      Use common trapping and netting techniques for Native Bee species in the region surrounding the Training Center.

      Survey native bee populations using common strategies.

      Describe issues surrounding the pollination biology, natural history, research, and identification of native bee species.

      For more information contact: June McIlwain, NCTC Conservation Science and Policy Branch, 304-876-7439, FAX 304-876-7234, june_mcilwain@... or So Lan Ching, 304-876-7771, So_Lan_Ching@.... For questions regarding course content, please contact Sam Droege, sdroege@... at 301-497-5840.

      How to apply: To register, visit our website at http://training.fws.gov/ click Course Catalog, then select * Log In to DOI LEARN for DOI employees, contractors and volunteers with previously established accounts. Otherwise select * Search DOI LEARN as a guest and search on CSP2225. You will have the opportunity to submit your application once you locate the class you want to take.

      If you have questions, the Registrar may be contacted at (304) 876-7692.

      Closing Date for Applications: February 23, 2009

      P Please don't print this e-mail unless really needed.