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Pollinator summit hosts renowned entomologist


University of Idaho news release

MOSCOW, Idaho – A pollinator conference offering online and in-person events by University of Idaho Extension and Rural Roots March 1-2 will focus on pollinators and their habitats on the Palouse and beyond.

The free summit will begin Wednesday, March 1, at 10 a.m. at the Latah County Fair and Event Center main room at 1021 Harold St., in Moscow.

Neal Williams, a renowned University of California Davis entomologist, will open the conference with a presentation on his research program, including research on pesticide exposure risk modeling and the effect of heat wave events on pollinators and the resulting effects to agriculture.

He will also present an evening keynote address on pollinators, including pollinator habitat restoration, plant selection, biodiversity and ecological services to agriculture.

Both talks will be open to the public in-person and on Zoom. The evening talk begins at 6 p.m. at the Bruce Pitman Center on the University of Idaho campus.

The summit is free and open to those who register online. Registration and a general schedule are available at:

The conference presentations will be available in-person or via Zoom. Further instructions will be sent for in-person and the online Zoom option to all who register.

Workshops will not be offered via Zoom.

Donations to help pay for the event are also being accepted on the registration links.

The summit will include a Pollinator Expo on March 1 with table displays from local nonprofits and businesses with pollinator habitat information and products.

Speakers on March 1 will include UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean Michael Parrella, researchers and graduate students, including Anna Hawse, (a UI graduate student), studying pollinators on Palouse Prairie remnants; Kelsey King (graduate student at Washington State University), studying Fender’s blue butterfly and lupine; Ronda Hirnyck (Extension professor and pesticide program coordinator, University of Idaho at Boise), outlining strategies for pesticide applicators to protect pollinators; Olivia Shaffer, PhD. (WSU, postdoctoral researcher, David Crowder Lab), presenting research on wild bees and landscape changes; Samantha Bussan, Ph.D. (postdoctoral researcher, Cheryl Schultz Lab, WSU), discussing conservation grazing effects on butterflies; and Nan Vance, Ph.D. (retired, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station), discussing Brown’s peony nectar supply.

Furthermore, a mason bee house workshop will be offered.

Presentations on March 2 will begin at 10 a.m. with a flower photo presentation by local organic flower farmer Jodi McClory of Swallowtail Flowers.

Subodh Adhikari, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in U of I’s Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology, will follow with a talk on climate-smart integrated pest and pollinator management.

The remainder of the morning will be an insect management game called “Pest Friends,” hosted and innovated by special guest Jason Thomas of UI Extension, Minidoka County.

The afternoon session will be a pollinator garden design workshop led by Iris Mayes, UI Extension, Latah County, and Pamela Pavek, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, concluding the daytime program at 2:30 p.m.

The summit will close on the evening of March 2 with a showing of a TED Talk, “Why are the Bees Disappearing?”; a summary of pollinator habitat projects on the Palouse by Suvia Judd, who is a local farmer and president of Rural Roots; and a showing of the feature film “Hometown Habitat,” an inspirational movie that explains how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems.

Doors for the closing events will open at 6:30 p.m. at the Kenworthy Performing Art Center, 508 South Main St., Moscow.

The event is free but donations will be accepted at the door to cover the costs of the event.

More information is available from summit organizer Iris Mayes at the UI Extension Latah County office at or (208) 883-2269.

Event information can also be found on Facebook: