Rocklin, Calif. March 8, 2018 – On Tuesday, March 13, the Sierra Science Lecture Series at the Nevada County Campus will present Dr. Michelle Duennes in a discussion titled: Using the past to protect the future: How evolution can help us conserve pollinators. This lecture is free and the public is invited and encouraged to attend. The lecture will be held in the Multi-purpose room, N12-103, and runs from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. Come early for a meet and greet and refreshments beginning at 6pm.

Native pollinators contribute billions of dollars to agriculture annually in the US through pollination services. Bumble bees are of particular importance to agriculture as they pollinate some of the most nutritious foods grown in the United States and are one of only a few commercially available native pollinators in this country. Poor nutrition due to a lack of floral resources, pesticide exposure, and climate change are all components of agricultural intensification that have direct effects on the health, stability, and fitness of pollinators. When acting together these factors undoubtedly also have synergistic effects.

The USDA NIFA ELI-funded Sierra Nevada Bumble Bee Health Project aims to address how these factors work individually and synergistically to affect bumble bee health at the individual level via laboratory manipulations and at the population level through wild bumble bees in the Sierra Nevada. An important part of this project is collaboration with the bumble bee rearing company Biobest and the invertebrate conservation organization The Xerces Society. The results of this project will be used to help develop environmentally-sustainable and conservation-conscious commercial bumble bee rearing practices, as well as evidence-based conservation strategies for restoring bumble bee habitat.

About our Presenter:

Dr. Duennes has spent the past ten years studying bumble bees. In graduate school at the University of Illinois she studied the evolution and conservation of bumble bees in Mexico and Central America. As an USDA NIFA ELI postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Riverside she has developed the Sierra Nevada Bumble Bee Health Project. She is also a science advisor for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Bumble Bee Specialist Group and an Entomological Society of America (ESA) Science Policy Fellow.

The Sierra Science lecture Series is a great FREE educational opportunity open to all. This is an evening to learn more about our local environment and to discuss questions and concerns with learned lecturers.

The Sierra College Nevada County Campus is located at 250 Sierra College Dr. in Grass Valley. There is a $3 parking fee on campus. Parking Permits can be purchased at the Kiosk located at the entrance to the campus.

For more information, contact Professor Jason Giuliani at: or (530) 274-5275.

About Sierra College

Sierra College District is rising to the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four year Universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills.  Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at