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Bug Banter Podcast Live: All About Bees!

June 17 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm PDT

Join Bug Banter co-hosts Matthew Shepherd and Rachel Dunham as they welcome back podcast guests Kass Urban-Mead and Rich Hatfield with special guest Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Program and Agricultural Biodiversity Director for a Q & A session on all things bees. Bring your questions about bees and your enthusiasm.

This webinar will be recorded and available on our YouTube channel and all major podcast platforms. Closed Captioning will be available during this webinar.

Learn more and register today!

Mace Vaughan – Pollinator and Agricultural Biodiversity Co-Director – Xerces Society
Mace Vaughan serves as the Xerces Society’s Pollinator and Ag Biodiversity Conservation Program Co-Director, and as a Conservation Entomologist and Partner Biologist to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) West National Technology Support Center in Portland, Oregon. In his tenure at the Xerces Society, the pollinator program has grown from a small pilot project on California farms to a national program implementing pollinator conservation projects across the U.S. Mace co-leads a team of 25 pollinator conservation specialists and several consultants across the U.S., and now helps to supervise the world’s largest pollinator conservation team. His work with other staff at the Xerces Society and the USDA-NRCS has led to the implementation of hundreds of thousands of acres of pollinator and beneficial insect habitat on farms throughout the U.S.

Kass Urban-Mead – Pollinator Conservation Specialist and NRCS Partner Biologist Mid-Atlantic – Xerces Society
Kass Urban-Mead provides technical assistance on pollinator conservation in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. As part of this work, she assists with planning, designing, installing, and managing habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects. Kass also works with staff and research partners to develop technical guidelines and provide training on pollinator conservation practices. Her graduate work in the Cornell Entomology Department characterized the wild bees active in early spring forests and forest canopies, and how the movement of bees between forests and orchards can support orchard pollination. Kass grew up raising 4-H dairy goats in the Hudson Valley. She completed a masters at Yale Forestry, worked for a summer at the Arnold Arboretum, and did ecological research in southern France.

Rachel Dunham – Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator – Xerces Society
As the Xerces Society’s first Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator, Rachel has built their Ambassador Program from the ground up and is finding new ways for Xerces to connect to communities through X Kids and the Bug Banter podcast. She has always loved wildlife and being outdoors. Rachel pursued her passion for nature graduating with a bachelor’s in ecology, and earning a master’s of wildlife conservation. She spent years traveling between Alaska and Hawaii, working as a naturalist for the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Princess Cruise Lines. Rachel also worked as a research associate in Panama and northern British Columbia. Before Xerces, Rachel worked at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, managing their public programs. She now lives in Montana with her husband and adventure pup.

Matthew Shepherd – Director of Outreach and Education – Xerces Society
Matthew has worked for the Xerces Society for more than two decades, initially at the vanguard of a new movement to protect pollinators, but then on endangered species and a range of other issues, as well as several years leading Xerces’ communications work. Throughout this time, he maintained a direct involvement in pollinator conservation in towns and cities, and in his current role has returned to outreach and community engagement. Much of this focuses on supporting neighborhood-level efforts such as pollinator gardens and small habitat projects in parks, as well as leading the Bring Back the Pollinators campaign and promoting the No Mow May and Leave the Leaves initiatives.

Rich Hatfield – Senior Endangered Species Conservation Biologist; Bumble Bee Conservation Lead – Xerces Society
Rich manages all aspects of the Xerces Society’s work on bumble bees. Rich has a master’s degree in conservation biology from San Francisco State University, and he joined the Xerces Society in 2012. While earning his degree, his thesis focused on local- and landscape-level factors that contribute to bumble bee species richness and abundance. He has also investigated native bee pollination in agricultural systems in the Central Valley of California and researched endangered butterflies in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, as well as throughout the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his skills as a research biologist, Rich also has extensive classroom teaching experience with a focus on conservation biology, ecology, and sustainability.



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