Pollinator Ambassadors

Now accepting applications for Pollinator Ambassadors!

What

Pollinator Ambassadors is an environmental education and leadership program run by Tufts Pollinator Initiative (TPI) and funded by Tufts Green Fund. By participating in the 8-session Pollinator Ambassadors program, you will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of plant and pollinator science, land stewardship, and urban conservation
  • Build confidence in engaging with diverse community stakeholders
  • Develop scalable solutions to pressing environmental issues and witness the real-world impact of your work
  • Join a network of passionate student leaders committed to urban conservation
  • Complete a minimum of 10 hours of service work through TPI channels

Who

Pollinator Ambassadors is open to all current Tufts students. Any current Tufts undergraduate, including seniors soon to be graduating, and graduate students are encouraged to apply. Though we started as a group of biologists, we are looking to add to new perspectives to our team from engineering, education, social science, anthropology, food systems, art, and more.  Strong applicants will make a case for how they can bring their unique skills and interests to nature education, community engagement, and urban conservation.

Why

Recent declines in insect pollinators like bees, butterflies, and beetles have sparked concerns over ecosystem health and food security. Since 2019, TPI has taught thousands of people why pollinators matter and how anyone can make a difference through small, simple actions like planting flower gardens. As demand for our programming increases, we are looking to grow our outreach capacity and magnify our impact by training new members to raise awareness for pollinators.

When

Spring 2023. The program will consist of eight 90-minute evening sessions (Tuesday evenings, 6-7:30pm)

Where

Medford-Somerville campus, room TBD

Format

The program will be structured as a flipped classroom. You will spend 45-60 minutes outside of class watching instructional videos. Then each week, we will spend class time reviewing the material and working in small groups to practice explaining our knowledge. For a tentative syllabus of covered topics, see below.

Timeline

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting December 2nd, with a hard deadline on December 10th. Applicants will be notified of their status in the program by early January. This is a professional development opportunity. There is no stipend for participation in the program.

Questions? Please email: tuftspollinators@gmail.com

Tentative Syllabus

Session 1:  Welcome, expectations, pre-course survey

  • What is TPI?
  • Intro to pollination

Session 2: Why are there honey bees on rooftops?

  • Honey bee biology
  • “Save the bees?” Threats to pollinators

Session 3: One bee, two bee, red bee, blue bee

  • All about bumble bees
  • Solitary bees

Session 4: It’s a bug eat bug world—the carnivorous pollinators

  • Flower-visiting wasp
  • Hover flies

Session 5:  Where do butterflies go in winter?

  • Butterflies & moth diversity
  • Case: monarch butterflies

Session 6: Human dimensions of urban conservation

  • Gardening for pollinators
  • Bottom-up conservation

Session 7: Develop educational activity

Session 8: Present activity to group, post-course survey