About Us | Pollinator.org

Our Mission

Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research.

Signature initiatives include the NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign), National Pollinator Week, and the Ecoregional Planting Guides.



We're proud of what we've accomplished and all our awards since our founding in 1997.

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Why are pollinators important? What is pollination? We've got all these answers and more for you.

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Our Team

Staff and Consultants

Laurie Davies Adams

Laurie Davies Adams, President and CEO of the Pollinator Partnership, (www.pollinator.org), has for 19 years lead the world’s largest nonprofit devoted solely to the health of all pollinators. As Executive Director for 21 years, she presided P2’s signature initiatives, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), National Pollinator Week, Eco-regional planting guides, the BeeSmart™ Gardener App, the U.S. Bee Buffer Project and Monarch Wings Across America. She has signed agreements with over 11 federal agencies influencing over 1.5 billion acres of US land to encourage pollinator conservation. She is Vice-Chairman of the Wildlife Habitat Council’s Board. Under her direction, the Pollinator Partnership has twice won the EPA’s PESP Champion Award and the Garden Club of America’s National Environmental Stewardship Award. She was a key consultant with the White House on the Presidential Memorandum on Pollinators and instrumental in the development of the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.

Kelly Rourke

Kelly Rourke has been dedicated to pollinator conservation for over 7 years. Her focus is on large-scale habitat projects, plant-pollinator interactions, and agricultural and industry engagement. Kelly holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Anthropology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has also received a Master’s of Science in Environmental Management (Ecology Concentration) from the University of San Francisco. Her background in ecology, conservation, and culture has propelled her career in the non-profit sector. Prior to Pollinator Partnership (P2), Kelly worked at another bay area-based environmental non-profit called Conservacion Patagonica (CP). Kelly manages the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), National Pollinator Week, www.pollinator.org, and pollinator grants and scholarships. Kelly serves on the Board of Directors of Pollinator Partnership Canada, the Advisory Committee of the Monarch Joint Venture, and the Steering Committee for PlantAgents.

Savannah Autran

A Bay Area native, Savannah Autran recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and a specialization in Justice and Sustainability. She also holds a minor in Conservation and Resource Studies. Her passion for habitat conservation and restoration stems from her love of all living organisms. Savannah spends most of her time exploring new trails with her dog, Naya, and taking care of her two miniature donkeys, Henri and Enzo. As an environmental justice advocate, Savannah strives to ensure that environmental benefits and burdens are distributed fairly across all populations. She is excited to be working toward improving pollinator habitat, transforming her academic knowledge into tangible conservation work!

Amber Barnes

Amber is a nature enthusiast who holds both a Bachelor and Master of Science in Biology, from the University of Akron. While her undergrad focused on Zoology, she has since broadened her interests through volunteer work and field positions. As a Field Botanist for the Cleveland Metroparks she contributed toward the long-term PCAP (Plant Community Assessment Program), which sparked an interest in vegetation research and the use of native plants in gardening and restoration projects. The following summer, she was chosen to participate in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Conservation and Land Management Internship as a Wildlife Technician. While stationed in Cedar City, Utah, she worked with the local Bureau of Land Management field office on several wildlife projects including greater sage-grouse conservation work, raptor nest surveys, Utah prairie dog studies, as well as several rangeland and riparian ecosystem health assessments and collecting native forb and grass seed for the Seeds of Success program. She is excited to bring her plant and wildlife experience together for the Pollinator Partnership as she helps lead and coordinate several of P2’s signature Monarch Wings Across America projects across the Midwest and assists with pollinator habitat creation and monitoring projects throughout the nation. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, photography, bowling, and volunteering.

​Anthony Colangelo

Anthony Colangelo is a biology enthusiast who spends most of his time admiring and taking photographs of local birds and bugs. He received his Bachelor of Science degree at Queen’s University majoring in Biology, and researched interesting life history traits and parental care behaviours seen in many bird species during his undergraduate career. Anthony has worked through multiple field seasons on many study organisms including tree swallows, black-capped chickadees, and carrion beetles, and loves to be outdoors to conduct research. Based in Toronto, Anthony is excited to be working toward improving pollinator protection and health!

Connie Crancer

Connie has a BS in Horticulture from Michigan State University and received her MS in Terrestrial Ecology from the University of Michigan where she was employed for twenty-six years at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. At the beginning of her career at the Gardens and Arboretum her main focus was growing plant material for the UM Biology Department and the School of Natural Resources along with maintaining the Helen V. Smith Wildflower Garden.

Her interests grew towards native plants when she joined the Michigan Botanical Club and later became Vice President and Program Director for six years. As her interests grew in ecology with the completion of her Masters; her responsibilities shifted to the natural areas focus at the Gardens and Arboretum, specifically native plants. Her duties included seed collection, plug production, the installation of bio-swales, native gardens and plantings, and participation in restoration efforts including prescribed burns and seed dispersal, all of which was made possible by the help of her many dedicated volunteers.

She retired from her University job and moved back to the west side of Michigan where she originally lived and now resides on a 200 acre organic farm. Her contributions to the farm include establishing pollinator/insect strips and islands with entirely MI genotype native plant species. She enjoys vegetable gardening, especially extending the growing season in her hoopette. She shares her native plant knowledge by giving nature hikes for the Chamber of Commerce and private organizations, and conducting seed cleaning workshops. She enjoys watching sunsets over Lake Michigan, riding her bicycle, walking her sheep, gathering with her girl friends and sitting a variety animal friends while their people are away.

Miles Dakin

Miles Dakin has had a lifetime passion and love for insects. As a child he was raised on his mother’s farm and at Bouverie Preserve, where his father lived, giving him a deep appreciation for conservation and land management. Miles spent countless hours hiking through the hills and fields of Sonoma County, chasing after newts, beetles and his 3 older sisters. He went on to receive his B.S. in Ecology and Computer Science from Tulane University and recently received his M.S. in Entomology from UC Davis, focusing on Navel Orangeworm management in almonds and pistachios. Miles hopes to continue to bring his passion for conservation and his deep appreciation for mindful land management to P2 and the Bee Friendly Farming program.

Taylor Enlow

Taylor loves to be around animals and nature for both work and in her free time. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology with minors in Wildlife Habitats and Sustainability. During her summers she spent time doing internships across the U.S. in animal keeping and wildlife rehabilitation. She found that she loved the non-profit sector and wanted to work in conservation. Taylor had the opportunity to join Pollinator Partnership as a Field Researcher stationed in Arkansas. She is helping to collect important data for the Monarch Wings Across America campaign. Some of her hobbies include gardening, hiking and volunteering at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks.

Holly Frainer

Holly Frainer is a nature enthusiast, whether it be for hobby or occupation. Holly graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science with an emphasis on Horticulture and Dendrology. She had the liberty of completing her internship at one of Chicagoland’s leading landscaping firms, Acres Landscaping Group. Previous experiences include a Forester for Davey Resource Group with Davey Trees, Greenhouse and Garden Center management, and owning and operating Barefoot Roots landscaping. Outside of Holly's professional experiences, she is a contributing member to various gardening societies such as Land of Lincoln Water Gardening Society, Sangamon Gardening Society, and Springfield Garden Society. In her spare time, she greatly enjoys gardening, growing and caring for plants, hiking trails, single-track mountain bike riding, kayaking, camping, and anything involving the outdoors.

Joe Hovis

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Joe has worked in conservation for the past 3 decades with a wide variety of agencies and universities in 10 different states. For the last 20 years, he has had the pleasure of being a wildlife manager at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA’s largest occurrence of native grassland and the only home in the East for the Regal Fritillary Butterfly. In order to restore grassland habitat using seed from plants adapted to growing in PA, he partnered with Ernst Conservation Seeds to collect, propagate, and make commercially available PA-ecotype plant species critical to the restoration of PA native grassland habitat.

While most of his early research experience was with vertebrate wildlife, he firmly believes native plants and pollinators are the foundation of a healthy ecosystem. A key step toward this journey was managing a 2,500 hive honeybee operation while in graduate school; this invertebrate experience led him down the pollinator path. Whether giving a presentation or leading a nature tour, Joe is sure to talk about pollinators and plants that some people call “weeds.”

He is excited to take his experience gained over the years and use those skills as the Project Wingspan Pennsylvania State Coordinator and spread more PA native seed across the state.

Hobbies include growing native thistles, fishing, hunting, and hiking.

Laura Jach Smith

Laura is the Project Wingspan State Coordinator for Wisconsin. As an agroecologist and ecosystem ecologist, she strives to advance the conservation and ecological enhancement of our natural and agricultural resources. Her past experiences include working for organic CSA vegetable and fruit farms, the Native Plants Project with the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, UW-Extension, and the UW-Madison Grassland Ecology Lab. She studied natural resources at Northland College (B.S.) and holds graduate degrees specializing in ecosystem nutrient cycling and plant-soil-fungal relationships in Tallgrass Prairies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Agroecology M.S. and Environment and Resources Ph.D). She also co-owns Resilient Ecological Services, LLC with her husband, Matt, in southeastern Wisconsin and provides ecological restoration and consulting services to landowners. During her free time, Laura loves gardening, cooking, running, spending time on the shores of Lake Michigan, and can most often be found outside raising her two young children on their land.

Elizzabeth Kaufman

Elizzabeth’s passionate interests in native pollinator conservation and habitat restoration led her to join Pollinator Partnership in 2018. Prior to working with P2, Elizzabeth worked throughout the Midwest, Intermountain West, and Southwest with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plant Science Center, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and in the horticultural arts and sciences specializing in the design of novel ecosystems and the restoration of native eco-scapes. Elizzabeth earned her BA in Human Ecology from Prescott College and MSc in Plant Biology and Conservation from Northwestern University and Chicago Botanic Garden. Elizzabeth is thrilled to join the P2 team, enabling her to focus her efforts on landscape-scale pollinator habitat enhancement and conservation work.

Katie Kucera

Katie Kucera recently joined P2 as a Native Seed Steward for Project Wingspan Across Chicagoland. She is a native Illinoisan who earned her BS in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences in 2015 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a degree focus on resource conservation and restoration ecology. As an undergrad, Katie interned for the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, where she experienced her first true field season, wading through wetland muck while comparing soil seed banks to above-ground vegetation. After graduation, Katie worked for the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project as a lab technician. Her combined interests in native plants, seeds, and plant genetics led her to earn her MSc in Plant Biology and Conservation from Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden in 2020, where she studied how seed production methods and seed mixing impact population genetics of a species grown for large-scale restoration projects. Katie has worked and volunteered in the field of restoration ecology for six years, most recently as a Prairie Restoration Technician for the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Dixon Prairie and Skokie River streambank. In her spare time, she is a Volunteer Steward at Somme Woods for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, an avid nature observer on iNaturalist, a member of the Illinois Native Plant Society, and is helping build volunteer restoration stewardship networks for the Illinois Nature Preserves system. She loves reminding Chicagoans of the wilderness and habitat diversity in their backyards where there is much left to learn and explore! While Katie may sound biased towards plants, she is eager to support all native plant and animal biodiversity and enjoys learning about the vital roles of pollinators. She keeps busy by cooking, baking, reading, or taking her cat outside on-leash when she’s not botanizing in the field.

Kathleen Law

Kathleen Law is the Integrated Conservation Manager for Pollinator Partnership Canada (P2C). As a pollinator specialist focusing on collaborative approaches to conservation, she has worked with the energy industry, farm organizations, and municipalities to integrate pollinator conservation with other land uses such as energy generation and infrastructure. In her role at P2C, she has worked with Ontario Power Generation, HydroOne, OMAFRA, the City of Toronto, New York Power Authority and businesses to develop practical actions that provide benefits to landowners as well as the environment.

Emma Leavens

Emma comes to Pollinator Partnership from her MS in Plant Biology and Conservation from Northwestern University and Chicago Botanic Garden where she was also an environmental educator. Before her graduate research on tallgrass prairie restoration, she managed horticulture for the High Line and taught plant science and environmental justice programs around New York City. She is a steward of natural areas in the Chicago area and is thrilled to support the plants and pollinators of this region through the Native Seed Steward role.

Isaac Lisle

Hailing from the great state of Texas, Isaac Lisle developed a love for biology and nature at a young age. Frequent trips to local zoos and nature parks, as well as the family farm in Iowa nurtured this growing passion over the years, eventually leading him to pursue his B.S. in Conservation Biology at Union University in Tennessee, where he not only gained a valuable education, but had the opportunity to work for nonprofits across the nation during the summers. Upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco where he is pursuing a Masters of Environmental Management at the University of San Francisco. Isaac began working at Pollinator Partnership shortly after his move to the city, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to begin his career at such an influential and science based conservation organization. His duties at P2 include contributing to NAPPC projects and events as well as donor development. In his free time, Isaac enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and competing in ultimate frisbee tournaments.

Marguerite Meyer

Marguerite Meyer is a graphic designer based in Santa Cruz, California. She loved to be creative as a child, always making her own clothes, found-object sculptures, greeting cards and intricate ornaments. Her degree in graphic design from the University of Utah was a natural choice. Through the years and changing technology, she has perfected her artistic skills by combining the traditional training, experience and abilities with a command of today's digital software and tools. Operating her own business since 1994, her creative and unique graphic solutions, as well as her attention to detail and deadlines help keep her clients thriving and coming back for more. Some of her clientele include the Pollinator Partnership and NAPPC since 2006, UC Santa Cruz Arts & Lectures, Santa Cruz County Symphony, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Summer Santa Cruz County Magazine and Student Guide Magazine and Soquel Creek Water District. She has taught software application courses through UC Extension. She loves the outdoors and animals and is competitive in U.S. Masters Swimming and an occasional triathlon. Check out her website here.

Lora Morandin, Ph.D.

Lora Morandin has been doing research on bees and pollination since 1997. She started out working on bee pollination of greenhouse tomatoes at Western University in Ontario and that grew into an interest in native pollinator conservation and sustainable agriculture. She then did a PhD at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia studying modern agriculture and pollinators, followed by post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley working on enhancement of native pollinators and natural enemy insects through small-scale farm restoration. Lora has co-authored books and book chapters, created outreach and technical guides, and has about 30 peer-reviewed publications on pollinators and sustainable agriculture, including innovative work on economic benefits of ecosystem services. She has consulted for government and industry on diverse ecological topics such as greenhouse coverings, seabird oiling from offshore oil and gas operations, and honey bee health research gaps. One of her main interests is finding ways that human land-use, production, and conservation can co-exist for a healthy and sustainable environment. Lora lives in Victoria, British Columbia and when she’s not working she spends time on her urban farm, with her family and pets, and enjoying BC’s beautiful natural areas. Lora is excited to be working with P2C to bring more research, outreach, and conservation of pollinators to urban and agricultural areas of Western Canada.

Jared O’Brien

While originally from the Chicago area, Jared has lived in Northwest Indiana for over a decade. He is involved in a variety of conservation initiatives in the region and holds a B.S. in Environmental Science & Geography from Valparaiso University. Jared’s professional experience working within the Indiana Conservation Partnership has often been centered around water quality, agricultural best management practices and native habitat establishment. He especially enjoys providing technical assistance to landowners as they embark on the rewarding journey of successfully establishing pollinator habitat. Jared and his family spend their time outdoors exploring the natural world around them, including the remarkably diverse Indiana Dunes National Park.

Lara Roketenetz

Lara has a Master’s in Biology from John Carroll University and a Ph.D. in Integrated Bioscience from The University of Akron. She is currently in school at Cleveland State University to get a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management. She is on the boards of several nonprofits (Dunham Tavern Museum, Green Triangle, and Society of Ecological Restoration - Midwest Great Lakes Chapter). She was the recipient of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History Conservation Educator of the Year in 2017.

Lara is currently the manager for the University of Akron Field Station (UAFS). The field station encompasses three sites: The Martin Center for Field Studies and Environmental Education at Bath Nature Preserve, Steiner Woods, and Panzner Wetland Wildlife Preserve. Although she wears many hats as the UAFS manager, her true passion is the community engagement program she’s spearheaded to increase UA’s involvement with local area K-12 schools. She also plans, leads, or recruits other local experts for outreach events for the general public – topics include: garlic mustard pulls, owl prowls, pollinator and moth hikes, woodcock walks, nature-inspired art classes in collaboration with the local library, etc. Lara understands the importance of connecting people to nature in order to inspire stewardship and community action.

Lara lives in Lakewood with her partner Josh, three dogs (Emmy, Finn, and Cricket), two cats (Charley and Elsie Mae), three chickens (Brownie, Betty, and Becky), two turtles (Ollie and Sip), cockatiel (Gertie), and fish (Sunny). She loves gardening, hiking, crafting, and all things nature.

Eleanor Schumacher

Working in agriculture and conservation since 2010, Eleanor Schumacher is thrilled to join the P2 team in partnership with NRCS. Eleanor transitioned from city-life in Chicago, working as an event planner and family entertainer to farm-life in Southern Illinois and a career in conservation. She has served as an Apiary Inspector at the Illinois Department of Agriculture for eleven seasons. Fascinated by the correlation between pollinator habitat quality and bee health, she pursued studies in Pollination Ecology and received a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from University of Illinois in 2018. A cherished experience was working as Resource Conservationist for the Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District from 2017 through 2019, where she enjoyed conservation planning, engineering, event planning, and leading a prairie management collective, the Madison County Prairie Partners. Eleanor is an all-around bee enthusiast, operating forty honey bee hives within a ten mile radius of her and her husband’s Prairie Farms Dairy Farm. In her free time, Eleanor enjoys writing articles and giving presentations, playing guitar, managing her own four acres of pollinator habitat, and volunteering as an Illinois Master Naturalist.

Maureen Stine

Maureen Stine graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and spent the years that followed serving non-profit organizations and agencies dedicated to inclusion and diversity-driven missions. The first fifteen years of her career were devoted to frontline communications beginning with an appointment with the National Park Service as a park guide and later with the State of Michigan as a park interpreter. Maureen recently served for eight years as a soil conservationist for US Department of Agriculture (USDA) managing Michigan landscapes for optimal environmental and economic benefit and administering federal grants for landowners from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, alongside a team of the most talented natural resource managers in Michigan. Planning seed mixes for landowners to enhance cover crops and conservation cover improving soil health and vegetative diversity was a large part of her work. Maureen was awarded the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s National Earth Team award in 2013 for her work with conservation education across the State of Michigan. Maureen is a female entrepreneur and owns her small business, Natureology sharing nature explorations will all audiences:https://www.natureology.me

Kyla Tripp

Like many before her, Kyla developed a lifelong passion for the environment by paddling through clear waters and laughing around a campfire in the BWCAW of Minnesota. However, over time, wild places became more than an adventure and more than an amazing ecosystem to behold. She became an environmental steward; working day-to-day to guide governmental agencies, scientists and communities toward a sustainable and responsible outcome. Kyla believes collaboration plays a key role in the success of environmental conservation efforts and that lasting conservation is achieved through partnerships with a range of extraordinary allies who can share their strengths to make continual progress.

Today, Kyla is P2’s Project Wingspan State Coordinator for Minnesota. She works with various state partners to address the decline in pollinators and the fragmentation of habitat through seed collection, technical training, enhancing and securing long-term habitat.

Kyla’s work in the conservation field has led her across the globe: from the coastal headlands of San Francisco tracking raptor migration, trudging through hip-deep mud and muck monitoring diversity of wetland species in the Midwest, and through the rolling hills of Rwanda where she supported the development of a national forestry monitoring information system with IUCN and heads of the Rwandan National Government. Kyla is also a PMI certified project manager, has logged hundreds of hours leading nature outreach programs and is an avid rock-climber. Kyla holds a Bachelors degree in Biology, Environmental Science, and Chemistry from Coe College and received her MS in Environmental Conservation from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Tom Van Arsdall

With three decades of experience in the national policy arena, Tom Van Arsdall is widely known and highly respected for his expertise and demonstrated track record on environmental, energy, bioenergy, ag research and conservation issues affecting U.S. agriculture, agribusiness and agriculture’s “downstream neighbors.” Tom currently serves as the Public Policy Representative for the Pollinator Partnership (P2) and the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), managed by P2. He is particularly well known for helping diverse stakeholders work together toward consensus-based actions. He has a thorough understanding of the legislative and regulatory process and how to get results. A current client is the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research [Executive Director]. Tom received his MA in economic geography from the University of Illinois. Tom is an active outdoorsman, conservationist and river rat. Currently a houseboat is his home and office on the Chesapeake Bay.

Sara Wittenberg

Sara received a BS in zoology from Auburn University. While at Auburn, she worked at the Southeastern Raptor Rehabilitation Center. She served as the Director of Rehabilitation, and had the great honor of releasing numerous orphaned and injured raptors back into the wild. Her honors thesis examined the causes of mortality of birds admitted to SERRC. Sara spent a summer in Costa Rica interning under the veterinarian at the national zoo. She spent another summer in the field trapping, tagging, and tracking gopher tortoises.

Sara then attended the University of Arkansas, where she used stable isotopes to attempt to determine where raptors migrating southward through the Florida Keys had originated. In conjunction with collecting data for her thesis, she co-ran a HawkWatch International raptor banding station. During and post-graduate school, Sara worked as a land bird monitoring surveyor for the USFS for 5 summers in the Ouachita National Forest, and spent one spring assisting in Cornell University’s search in the White River NWR for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, thought to be extinct since the 1940s. Before graduating with her MS in biology, Sara completed a Tropical Ecology course in Costa Rica through the Organization for Tropical Studies.

Post-graduation, Sara taught at a fairly new public charter high school, before moving to the most remote wildlife refuge in the continental United States. While living on the refuge Sara conducted surveys for the USFWS on sandhill cranes and sage grouse. Sara, her husband (a herpetologist and current high school headmaster) and two children moved to one more remote refuge in Nebraska, then returned to Arkansas in 2015 where they now reside with their hound dog Scooter. Weekends often find them spending time in the beautiful Ozark mountains. This summer Sara plans on adding pipevine to her yard’s ever expanding collection of native butterfly host plants.

Vicki Wojcik, Ph.D.

Vicki has been working to protect and promote pollinators with Pollinator Partnership since 2011. As Research Director she oversees P2’s research program, keeping on top of new and emerging pollinator issues and managing a program set that includes pollinator habitat conservation and landscape management assessments; understanding and enhancing agroecosystems; landuse and pesticide policy review; support for threatened and critical species; and ecosystem service assessments. Vicki joined the San Francisco team after completing her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley. In 2015 she returned home to Toronto with the expansion of P2’s programs into Canada. Vicki’s interest in pollinators was sparked during her undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph and has continued ever since. Her graduate research focused on understanding how native bees use gardens and habitats in cities. This focus on pollinators in human-dominated landscapes has continued throughout her career. Vicki’s contributions to pollinator research and conservation include numerous peer reviewed papers, book chapters, policy pieces, planting guides, and technical manuals. The outdoors has always been calling this city girl who enjoys skiing, sailing, hiking, and any excuse to get out of town.

Emily Yates

Emily Yates, P2’s Project Wingspan State Coordinator for Indiana, has served various conservation initiatives for 20 years in non-profits and public gardens. A native Midwesterner, Emily was educated in botany, ecology and geography in Illinois and Iowa studying habitat fragmentation, GIS, and endangered and rare species at Missouri Botanical Garden and serving for 12 years as coordinator of the Dixon Nat’l Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank at Chicago Botanic Garden. She developed seed collection networks across the Midwest and Great Plains focusing on preservation of tallgrass prairie species and habitat in association with the Millennium Seed Bank Project at Kew Gardens, UK and the Nat’l Seeds of Success Program in cooperation with the US Bureau of Land Management. Emily has fieldwork experience in grassland and forest ecosystems in Montana, Nevada, the Midwest and Great Plains and has worked for Nevada’s Great Basin Institute leading bat surveys, butterfly inventories, and native seed collection efforts. She is a science communicator and freelance editor, public lands advocate, and just plain loves to be outside in the beauty of nature. In her off-work hours Emily is an avid cake baker and Bakery Road Trip blogger, artist and painter, and enjoys travel, growing food and community gardening and is a map and cartography enthusiast.


Laurie Davies Adams

Laurie Davies Adams, President and CEO Emeritus of the Pollinator Partnership, (www.pollinator.org), has for 19 years lead the world’s largest nonprofit devoted solely to the health of all pollinators. As Executive Director for 21 years, she presided P2’s signature initiatives, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), National Pollinator Week, Eco-regional planting guides, the BeeSmart™ Gardener App, the U.S. Bee Buffer Project and Monarch Wings Across America. She has signed agreements with over 11 federal agencies influencing over 1.5 billion acres of US land to encourage pollinator conservation. She is Vice-Chairman of the Wildlife Habitat Council’s Board. Under her direction, the Pollinator Partnership has twice won the EPA’s PESP Champion Award and the Garden Club of America’s National Environmental Stewardship Award. She was a key consultant with the White House on the Presidential Memorandum on Pollinators and instrumental in the development of the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.

James Bennington

Dr. Bennington received both his MS and MD degrees from the University of Chicago following a rotating Internship at Presbyterian – St. Luke’s Hospital. He completed his residency training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Chicago and Oakland, California Kaiser Foundation Hospital.

Dr. Bennington has held many academic positions including, Associate Professor of Pathology, Chairman of Pathology Department at both the Children’s Hospital of San Francisco and the California Pacific Medical Center. He has also served as the Emeritus Clinical Professor of Pathology at the University of California at San Francisco and Stanford University Medical Schools. Bennington’s research was concentrated on neoplasia, primarily renal, colon and breast cancer leading to publication of 50 peer-reviewed article, and six pathology textbooks.

During much of his tenure, he served on the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board, including two years as Chairman, and on the California Pacific Medical Center Foundation Board.

Ron Bitner

With a Ph.D. in Entomology from Utah State University, Ron has over 30 years of experience with management of pollinators and crops requiring bee pollination. As the Partner/Pollination Consultant with International Pollination Systems (IPS), Ron worked to develop pollination and integrated pest management programs for alfalfa seed and hybrid canola seed grown in Australia. Ron has been President of the Pollination and Pest Management Consulting Services since 1981, and is the owner/operator of Bitner Vineyards, a 15-acre vineyard of premium wine grapes. Ron blends his love for bees - specifically the Alfalfa Leafcutter Bee - with his work on the Vineyard, where he plants cover-crops to provide bee habitat and adorns bottle corks with images of leafcutters.

Kevin Butt

Mr. Kevin Butt is the Director of Environmental Sustainability for Toyota’s North American Environmental Sustainability Programs. He is responsible for the development of Environmental Sustainability Programs and related Regulatory/Legislative development for all of Toyota’s North American operations.

Mr. Butt serves on several boards including the National Wildlife Habitat Council, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation, World Wildlife Fund National Council, North American Great Plains Advisory Board, Yellowstone Park’s. Yellowstone Forever Board, and the National Environmental Education Foundation.

Mr. Butt has a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science from Georgetown College.

Megan Denver

Megan’s interest in beekeeping began as a young child on her father’s dairy farm near Delhi, New York where they kept beehives behind the sugar shack. After graduating from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles she moved to Woodstock, New York. She knew the first project for her property was a bee yard and she’s been hooked on beekeeping ever since. Her commitment to beekeeping grew when she opened Hudson Valley Bee Supply. The shop is a hub of resources for local beekeepers and has helped to grow a strong and sustainable local beekeeping community. She runs several hundred colonies for honey production in the Hudson River Valley with her partner Jorik Phillips. During the spring and fall you can find her in the Catskill Mountains looking for wild honeybees. With the help of Jorik’s queen rearing expertise, she introduces their genetic potential to her own bees. Dr Thomas Seeley, from Cornell University shares her passion for bee lining and she recently had the honor to work with Dr Seeley on his book Following the Wild Bees. Patent Wall Organic Farm in East Durham, NY is her passion project. The farm’s motto is “Bees First”. Her goal for the farm in the coming years is to serve as an outdoor classroom to teach about the importance of pollinators and to serve as a practical example of how to create diverse pollinator habitat on small farms. She also serves on the board of Bees for Development, North America. Their mission is the relief of poverty though beekeeping. They affirm that beekeeping contributes to supporting sustainable livelihoods in poor and remote communities and honeybees provide an essential ecosystem service. Megan looks forward to the opportunity to support all pollinators with Pollinator Partnership.

Gladys Phillips Evans, Ph.D

Gladys Phillips-Evans is an educator who has devoted her professional career to seeking and exploring meaningful way to help children learn. Dr. Phillips-Evans is a graduate of the University of Illinois, California State University-Los Angeles and Pepperdine University from where she received her doctorate degree. Dr. Phillips-Evans interest in Pollinator Partnership came about though friendship and has since sparked an interest and a desire to ensure that children are learning not only the lessons but the value of personal knowledge and involvement in nature and its wonders.

Jared Ficker

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Jared Ficker is a Subject matter expert on environmental policy and regulation, energy policy and regulation, technology, infrastructure, water, coastal development, land conservation, governmental affairs and coalition-building strategies, consulting for emerging businesses and markets, and land use entitlement and development strategies. He is one of the state’s best at bridging the gap between science, policy and politics. His clients benefit from his exceptionally high level of public policy expertise, government and public relations skill and strategic business advice. Prior to Axiom Advisors, Jared led California Strategies’ extensive environmental and energy practice since joining the firm in 2002. His strategies and client services led to Capitol Weekly identifying him as “one to watch” in public affairs, citing his work in developing the firm’s renewable energy portfolio. His expertise is deep, with a focus on issues affecting land use, environmental policy, renewable energy, climate change, alternative fuels, development, mitigation, water supply, water quality, and local, state and federal permitting. Jared previously served in both terms of the Clinton Administration at the Department of the Interior and National Park Service and received numerous recognitions and awards for his work on new wilderness designations and the creation of new national parks and monuments, endangered-species issues, historic preservation and conservation easements, and tax incentives legislation.

Jared completed coursework for a doctorate at the University of California, Davis and has a B.A. in both Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was recognized as one of the Environmental Studies Program’s outstanding students. Jared lives in Santa Barbara with his wife and three children. He has offices in both Santa Barbara and Sacramento and works on projects throughout the State of California.

Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall currently works as a Harvest Manager for The Weyerhaeuser Company in the Southern Timberlands, Mississippi/Alabama Region, Columbus Mississippi Area. His job is to facilitate the safe and sustainable harvest of timber from lands we own and manage to meet volume agreements at internal and third-party mills. Prior to accepting his Harvest Manager role, Taylor was a Resource Forester, a trainee position, in Columbus and administered both harvesting and silviculture contracts. He also completed a forestry summer internship with Plum Creek in Fordyce, AR between my undergrad and Master’s work. In 2017 Taylor completed his Master of Science in Forestry at Mississippi State University under Dr. Andy Ezell. Working out of the silviculture lab he completed his thesis on artificial oak regeneration comparing performance of two oak species and three planting stocks on Hurricane Katrina damaged lands in south Mississippi. Combining coursework from his BS and MS he was able to obtain his Geospatial and Remote Sensing Certificate from MSU as well. Taylor graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Forestry with a concentration Wildlife Management from Mississippi State University in 2014, and was inducted into the Xi Sigma Pi Honor Society, Alpha Theta Chapter in 2014.

Taylor is a Register Forester through the State of Mississippi, an Associate Wildlife Biologist through The Wildlife Society, and Professional Logging Manager through Mississippi State University Extension Service. He lives in Columbus, MS with his wife, Christina, and a Boykin spaniel, Waylon. Taylor is an avid hunter, angler, and wild game cook, and likes to dabble in gardening and tending fruit trees and bushes, and general outdoor activities.

John Lett

John Lett is a graduate of Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS with a degree in Forestry and a concentration in Wildlife Management. As a child growing up in rural Alabama, John developed a passion for the outdoors through numerous activities such as hunting, fishing, all-terrain vehicle riding, and working in his grandparent’s garden. His career in forestry began at the Mississippi Forestry Commission in the southern portion of the state near Hattiesburg. As a Service Forester, John managed approximately 60,000 acres of forest land owned by local school districts, along with three additional land bases designated as state forests by Mississippi. He has also been fortunate enough to serve as a wildland firefighter for the State of Mississippi and for the United States Forest Service. This afforded him opportunities to travel to many fires including the Soberanes Fire, which burned over 132,000 acres in 2016 and resulted in the most expensive fire in United States history at approximately $260 million. Presently, John serves as the Staff Forester for Soterra,LLC. (a subsidiary land management business of Greif, Inc.—a worldwide leader in industrial packaging products and services). He currently manages all recreational/hunting leases on Soterra’s 240,000 acre land base. John is also a licensed unmanned aircraft pilot and conducts mapping/surveying flights for Soterra and private landowners in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

John’s personal hobbies include hunting, fishing, and working on the farm with his wife Mary Helen Lett. She serves as an Agricultural Science teacher at one of the only remaining Agricultural High Schools in the state of Mississippi. The school has a 320 acre working farm with cows, goats, sheep, horses, and hogs that she uses as hands-on training experiences for her students. John and Mary Helen also manage their own American Quarter Horse broodmare operation, which combines outstanding genetics and performance records to produce outstanding barrel racing prospects that are sold to riders across the country.

Steve Quarles

Steve Quarles is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Nossaman LLP. His practice focuses on the Endangered Species Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other federal wildlife laws; federal land resources; and renewable energy. Mr. Quarles serves a wide range of clients, including companies and trade associations, states and local governments, and environmental organizations. His practice runs the gamut of strategic and transactional counseling, representation before federal agencies and the Congress, and litigation (including seminal Supreme Court cases on endangered species and federal land planning (Sweet Home and Ohio Forestry, respectively)). Mr. Quarles previously served as Deputy Under Secretary of the Interior, special counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, member of the Board of Mineral and Energy Resources of the National Academy of Sciences, and Assistant to the Representative, Ford Foundation, Brazil. He is a board member of Bat Conservation International, NatureServe, National Wildlife Refuge Association, Trumpeter Swan Society, and Maryland Environmental Trust. Mr. Quarles is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, and studied and taught at Aligarh Muslim University, India, under a Fulbright grant.

Martin Rosen

Martin Rosen has been involved in land conservation for more than 30 years. He is cofounder of the Trust for Public Land and was its CEO for 20 years. TPL has conserved thousands of urban and rural landscapes with an aggregate value in excess of $1.5 Billion. Mr. Rosen is Vice Chair of the P2 Board and has been since its beginning.

Steve Shestag

Steve Shestag is the director of Enterprise Remediation for The Boeing Company. He is responsible for shaping an integrated strategy for completion of environmental remediation activities, as well as leading environmental due diligence activities to support the company’s mergers, acquisitions and property transactions. Shestag has over 30 years of experience in environmental permitting, geotechnical studies, remedial investigation, contaminant treatment, engineering design, stormwater management, sustainable remediation, water supply studies and program management. His expertise includes working with diverse groups of stakeholders to find practical and timely solutions that improve the environment and reduce risks. Shestag has also led the visioning, design and creation of a variety of restoration projects, including riparian habitat in the Arroyo Seco watershed, nearly 500 acres of native habitat near Reno, NV and pollinator habitat outside Kansas City, KS. Prior to joining Boeing in 1996, he was an engineering geologist for two major environmental engineering firms. Shestag earned a bachelor’s degree in geochemistry from San Diego State University. He is registered as a professional geologist and a certified engineering geologist in California. Shestag serves on the Board of Directors for the LA Conservation Corps, which provides job skills training and education for inner-city youth and young adults. He resides in Ventura, California where he enjoys participating in beach cleanups and habitat restoration events. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, mountain biking, general aviation, fly-fishing and hiking with his wife, Carol.

Dave White

Dave has over 35 years of professional leadership experience in natural resource conservation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and in the private sector. He was Chief of the NRCS from January 2009 to December 2012. As Chief, Dave led the nation’s largest private lands natural resource conservation organization. Under his leadership, the NRCS created and implemented landscape level conservation initiatives that focused financial and technical resources on solving problems; particularly in the area of water quality and quantity. Prior to serving as Chief, he was the State Conservationist in Montana. Dave has spent significant time on Capitol Hill. In 2002, he was detailed to Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, and in 2008 to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. During those times, he helped craft the conservation titles of both the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills. Currently, Dave serves as president of Ecosystem Services Exchange, a start-up dedicated to fostering the development of environmental trading programs, and he is the Co-Founder and Partner of the 9b Group, a benefit corporation focused on consulting and lobbying for sustainable agriculture. Dave is an honors graduate of the University of Missouri where he studied agricultural journalism. He and his wife live in Charlottesville, Virginia, and have a grown son and daughter and one grandson.

Terry Witzel

Terry Witzel’s career has focused on agriculture, food processing and food distribution. He is also interested in promoting sustainable food systems and serves as a member of the San Mateo County Food System Alliance. Additionally, Terry serves on the Agricultural Advisory Council for the California State Fair. He joined the Pollinator Project because of its emphasis on the global and economic importance of pollinators in food crop production. Most recently, Terry managed food solicitation and procurement for both a regional and a local food bank until his retirement in 2011. Previously, he managed the California office of American Farmland Trust, working to protect productive farmland for future generations. He began his career with the largest U.S. farmer-owned cooperative processor of private label canned fruits and vegetables and rose to the position of Vice President of Corporate Relations. Terry earned a B.S. in Agricultural Education from the University of California at Davis and an M.B.A. in Business Management from San Jose State University.


May Berenbaum, Ph.D.

May Berenbaum, Ph.D. has been on the faculty of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1980, serving as head since 1992 and as Swanlund Chair of Entomology since 1996. She is known for elucidating chemical mechanisms underlying interactions between insects and their hostplants, including detoxification of natural and synthetic chemicals, and for applying ecological principles in developing sustainable management practices for natural and agricultural communities. Her research, supported primarily by NSF and USDA, has produced over 230 refereed scientific publications and 35 book chapters. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, she has chaired two National Research Council committees, the Committee on the Future of Pesticides in U.S. Agriculture (2000) and the Committee on the Status of Pollinators in North America (2007). Devoted to teaching and fostering scientific literacy through formal and informal education, she has authored numerous magazine articles and six books about insects for the general public.

Gloria Degrandi-Hoffman, Ph.D.

Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman is the research leader and center director of the USDA. Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, AZ. With nearly three decades in bee research, she is considered a world-renowned expert in her field. Degrandi-Hoffman works to ensure the health of honey bee colonies, especially those used for commercial pollination. Her research includes studying the biology of Africanized bees, controlling the Varroa mite that devastates bee colonies, and investigating the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Her research has been featured in documentaries on the Discovery Channel and PBS. DeGrandi-Hoffman has published more than 100 articles and book chapters, as well asnine mathematical models. She has received grants for her research in excess of $6 million. She also has led the ARS research efforts in the production of two commercially available products for beekeepers: a protein supplement diet (MegaBee–the Tuscon diet) and a miticide to control Varroa mites (HopGuard).

Mark Moffett, Ph.D.

From the top of the world's tallest tree, to deep in unexplored caves, Mark Moffettt has discovered new species and behavior while risking life and limb to find stories that make people fall in love with the unexpected in nature. Mark is a real-life adventurer with awards for writing and photography... and now the highest honors in exploration, the 2006 Lowell Thomas Medal, from the Explorers Club and Rolex, bestowed on him at Cipriani Wall Street; and the sixth Roy Chapman Andrews Society Distinguished Explorer Award (2008). With a Ph.D. from acclaimed conservationist Edward O. Wilson, Mark remains active in science, with over 80 peer-reviewed publications. He has penned more than 20 articles for National Geographic Magazine, which has featured nearly 500 of his images. You have experienced Mark on Conan O'Brien, the Colbert Report, and NPR.

Peter Raven, Ph.D.

An internationally renowned botanist and powerful advocate on behalf of conservation, Peter Raven has devoted his life to educating people about the threats to Earth’s biodiversity. Described by Time magazine as a “Hero for the Planet,” he headed for 40 years the Missouri Botanical Garden, an institution he nurtured to become a world-class center for botanical research, conservation, education, and horticulture display. He is a trustee of the National Geographic Society and chairman of the Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration, and is co-author of “Biology of Plants,“ one of the best-selling textbooks in botany.

Larry Stritch, Ph.D.

Larry Stritch worked 4 years as a Natural Heritage Biologist for the Illinois Department of Conservation. From 1989 to 1992 he worked as the Forest Botanist/Ecologist for the Shawnee National Forest and from 1992 to 1995 served as the Regional Botanist for the Eastern Region of the U.S. Forest Service and from 1995 until 1998 was detailed to the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant at the Midewin Project Director. From 1998 to 2001 Larry served as the National Botanist for the U.S. Forest Service and from 2001 2005 served as a senior botanist and liaison at the FWS’s National Conservation Training Center. From 2005 to 2016 Larry once again served as the National Botanist for the Forest Service.

Gordon Wardell, Ph.D.

Dr. Gordon Wardell, is the Director of Pollination Operations, Wonderful Orchards, and President of the South Valley Bee Club. Gordon has been a professional apiculturist for over 30 years and has woked with bees on three continents. Previously he was the extension apiculturist for the State of Maryland and he owned and directed S.A.F.E. Research and Development in Tucson, Arizona, a company dedicated to developing products for the bee industry. Gordon’s accomplishments include Mega-Bee, the honey bee nutritional supplement and years of research in the area of Varroa mite control, honey bee nutrition, fire ant monitoring, small hive beetle, Africanized Honey Bees, and many other topics. In addition, he has authored numerous scientific publications on honey bees.

E.O. Wilson, Ph.D.

In his long career, he has transformed his field of research—the behavior of ants—and applied his scientific perspective and experience to illuminate the human circumstance, including human origins, human nature, and human interactions. Wilson has also been a pioneer in spearheading efforts to preserve and protect the biodiversity of this planet.

Science Advisors

  • May Berenbaum, Ph.D.
  • Gloria Degrandi-Hoffman, Ph.D.
  • Mary Purcell-Miramontes, Ph.D.
  • Mark Moffet, Ph.D.
  • Peter Raven, Ph.D.
  • Larry Stritch, Ph.D.
  • Gordon Wardell, Ph.D.
  • E.O. Wilson, Ph.D.

National Advisors

  • Paul Growald, Founder and Chairman Emeritus
  • Robert L. Kilpatrick, Ph.D.
  • Al Sikes
  • Kayla Walters
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