Rich Hatfield is a senior conservation biologist for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. He has authored several publications on bumble bees, including a set of management guidelines entitled Conserving Bumble Bees. He serves as the Red List Authority for the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Bumble Bee Specialist Group and has taught bumble bee management and identification courses in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, and Massachusetts. Rich helped develop and launch the citizen science website Bumble Bee Watch, which has attracted over 18,000 users throughout North America, and gathered over 30,000 photo observations of North American bumble bees since 2014. Bumble Bee Watch now serves as the platform to collect data for the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas for which he is the principal investigator. In addition to his work with bumble bees, Rich has investigated native bee pollination in agricultural systems in the Central Valley of California, and studied endangered butterflies in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and throughout the Pacific Northwest. When not at work, Rich is often off exploring the wonders of the Pacific Northwest with his family.
Listen in to today’s episode to learn how the PNW Bumble Bee Atlas is aiding in bee conservation, and how you can participate in pollinator habitat surveys.
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“I can tell you from the response that we’ve had that people are pretty excited. They’ve been having a really good time doing this. I love it, too, and it’s good to know that other people can join you on this.” – Rich Hatfield
- What the bumblebee atlas is, and what it is accomplishing
- How the Xerces society developed their system of bumble bee collection
- Why this bumble bee atlas can’t use other similar programs in their own study
- The importance of having positive and negative data in these studies
- What training people need to take to participate
- What the process is of gathering specimen for bumble bee research
- How a roadside survey is different than a point survey
- What happens after the citizen scientists complete their survey
- The benefits for many different groups of this kind of a project in this region
- How you can get involved in helping the PNW Bumble Bee Atlas
“A lot of what we need to know is not what’s happening where people live, but what’s happening more in remote areas.” – Rich Hatfield
- Learn more about online bumble bee atlas training at the PNW Bumble Bee Atlas website
- Check out some of Rich’s favorite things:
- “The Forgotten Pollinators”, by Stephen L. Buchmann and Gary Paul Nabhan
- “The Sting In The Tale”, by Dave Goulson
- Rich’s favorite tool: the Olympus Tough TG-5
- Rich’s favorite pollinator: the squash bee, Peponapis pruinosa
- Connect with Rich Hatfield at The Xerces Society