Pollinator Biology and Habitat (STOCKSCH 397PB)

Protect Pollinators, Support Agriculture, Sustain Ecosystem Services

Instructor information

Jarrod Fowler
Office Hours: Wednesdays 1:00-3:00 PM
Agricultural Learning Center
911 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA


Time and location

Autumn 2015
Mondays 1:25-3:45 PM
Fernald Hall H1 or Agricultural Learning Center
Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Required readings

Supplementary readings

Students are encouraged to share relevant readings.

Recommended materials

Aerial insect net, binoculars, boots or closed-toe shoes, clipboard, field guides, gloves, hat, pants, pencils/pens and pad, raincoat, snack, stopwatch, sunscreen, thermometer, water, ...


Recently documented declines in pollinator populations threaten local and regional sustainability. Pollinator declines can be peacefully combatted through promoting pollinator habitats that provide abundant and diverse resources. Pollinator habitats can be created and enhanced with sustainable horticultural practices, thereby promoting resilient environmental, social, and economic systems.

STOCKSCH 397PB will provide students with knowledge and skills pertaining to pollinator conservation, encourage interest in and application of pollinator conservation practices, and support development and use of acquired knowledge and skills for agro-ecological sustainability. Topics include comprehension of pollinator conservation, design, installation, and maintenance of pollinator habitat, and identification and monitoring of native pollinators. Students will collaboratively develop applied projects and gain practical knowledge through a hybrid field-trip, lecture, and workshop classroom setting.


By the end of the semester, students will be able to:
  1. Comprehend pollinator biology and ecology, including threats to and values of crop pollination
  2. Monitor and identify pollinator populations
  3. Use pollinator conservation practices to design, install, and maintain habitats


  1. Attending classes
  2. Reading all assigned materials and participating in discussions
  3. Completing quizzes and collaborative class projects


Performance will be assessed relative to class projects, quizzes, and attendance.

Assessment and evaluation

  1. Projects: 60%
  2. Quizzes: 20%
  3. Attendance: 20%

Late submissions

Late projects and quizzes will not be accepted unless special arrangements are made in advance.

Course calendar

Weeks 01-13: Location; Topic; Quiz; Project
  1. 08-Sept: FH; Intro
  2. 14-Sept: ALC; Pollinator habitat assessment
  3. 21-Sept: ALC; Pollinator habitat monitoring; Quiz 1
  4. 28-Sept: ALC; Pollinator habitat design and preparation; Quiz 2
  5. 05-Oct: FH; Quiz 3; Project I
  6. 12-Oct: FH; Pollination biology and ecology; Quiz 4
  7. 19-Oct: ALC; Pollinator identification I
  8. 26-Oct: FH; Pollinator identification II; Quiz 5
  9. 02-Nov: ALC; Pollinator habitat installation and maintenance; Quiz 6
  10. 09-Nov: FH; Quiz 7; Project II
  11. 16-Nov: FH; Pollinator status and valuation; Quiz 8
  12. 23-Nov: FH; Quiz 9; Project III
  13. 30-Nov: FH; Outro; Quiz 10


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