Our lab is dedicated to engaging with the public on issues related to the importance of pollinators in agriculture and food security, and pollinator health. We focus our efforts on developing active dialogue with members of the community to not only communicate our research, but to also hear their questions and concerns. In addition, we strive to incorporate engaging activities to get children excited about pollinators. Through this process we hope to enhance pollinator conservation efforts through mutual understanding and appreciation.
In addition to engaging the public on the importance and implementation of bee conservation measures, we provide an opportunity to learn and understand the evolution of plant-pollinator systems. This exciting event provides an opportunity to combine evolutionary time scales with current conservation measures.
Wisconsin Science Festival – Yearly since 2013
At this event we engage in dialogue with members of the community to discuss ways they can contribute to pollinator conservation. This includes the identification of bee pollinators, creating and maintaining nesting sites and foraging resources for bees, and answering specific questions from community members.
Urban Horticulture Day – Yearly since 2011
This event takes place later in the summer, thereby providing the community an opportunity to engage with fruit and crop specialists. Having our pollinator booth at this event provides a unique opportunity to engage the community on issues related to bee conservation in a setting where people can see first hand the results of bee pollination.
Science Expeditions – Yearly since 2011
Similar structure to that at the Wisconsin Science Festival. We seek to open dialogue with members of the community about the importance of bee pollinators, and provide resources to help people contribute to conserving bee populations.
Expanding Your Horizons Conference – 2015
This is a one-day conference held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for around 400 middle school aged (6-8th grade) girls from south-central Wisconsin. As part of a small group, each girl attends three career sessions as well as the opening session and closing activity. At this event we have a pollination booth where we discuss careers in Entomology/Evolutionary biology with the students.
Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Seminar Series- 2010 and 2015
Garden Expo – 2012
This event is a great place to talk about bee pollinators, their ecology, and how people can incorporate essential foraging resources and nesting habitat into their gardens.