Robbin Thorp to Lead Forest Service's Public Tour on June 22 on Native Plants and Pollinators at Loney Meadow
May 21, 2012
|Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp checks a tower of jewels (Echium wildpreii) last year at the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)|
DAVIS--Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, will lead a Tahoe National Forest Service tour of native plants and pollinators in the Loney Meadow, near Nevada City, Nevada County, on Friday, June 22.
The tour, free and open to the public, will take place from 10 a.m. to approximately 2 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Yuba River Ranger District of the Tahoe National Forest.
Kathy Van Zuuk, Yuba River Ranger District botanist and forest level non-native invasive plant coordinator, said participants can expect "to learn more about the importance of native plants and pollinators."
The walk is provided as part of the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region’s 2012 Pollinator Special Emphasis Area "which has been developed to call attention to the importance of butterflies and native bees in providing important services for food production and ecosystem health," Van Zuuk said.
Van Zuuk and Karen Wiese, both botanists, will identify native plants.
Thorp said the tour participants may encounter such pollinators as bumble bees, mining bees, digger bees, leafcutting bees, mason bees and cuckoo bees. Other floral-visiting insects will probably include flies, butterflies, and beetles, he said..
Those interested should meet at 10 a.m.at the Sierra Discovery Trail parking lot located off Highway 20 to carpool to Loney Meadow (where parking is limited). Participants of all ages should bring water, snacks, insect repellent, sunscreen and wear suitable footwear. Dogs are not allowed.
Further information is available from Van Zuuk at (530) 478-6243 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. See flier.
Upcoming Forest Service's events on Native Plants and Pollinators:
Saturday, June 2: Native Plants and Pollinators Walk, San Bernardino National Forest
Saturday, June 16, Native Plants and Butterflies, Plumas National Forest
Saturday, July 21, Scott Valley Native Plants and Pollinators Walk, Klamath National Forest\
Thorp, a noted native pollinator specialist, joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in 1964 and "officially" retired in 1994. However, he continues to maintain an office in the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. He does research; serves on graduate student thesis committees; and gives guest lectures. Since 2002, he has participated as an instructor in The Bee Course offered annually through the American Museum of Natural History, New York at its Southwest Research Station, Portal, Ariz.
Thorp's research specialties include ecology, systematics, biodiversity, and conservation of bees including pollen specialist bees in vernal pool ecosystems. He received his bachelor and master's degrees in zoology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley.
Thorp was elected a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco in 1986. He received a 2010-11 Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship Award, UC Davis, to support his research on the critically imperiled Franklin's bumble bee.
Thorp researches the declining population of Franklin’s bumble bee, Bombus franklini (Frison), found only in a narrow range of southern Oregon and northern California. Its range, a 13,300-square-mile area confined to Siskiyou and Trinity counties in California; and Jackson, Douglas and Josephine counties in Oregon, is thought to be the smallest of any other bumble bee in North America and the world.
Directions to Loney Meadow: From Interstate 80 west, take Highway 20 approximately 4.5 miles to Bowman Lake Road (USFS Road 18). Turn right and travel approximately 10.5 miles until just after the pavement ends. Turn right where a sign marks the rough, cattle road 0.7 miles away. You will travel through a logged area and veer to the left to the Loney Meadow parking lot. Note: participants on the tour will meet on Sierra Discovery Trail on Bowman Lake Road, off Hwy. 20, to carpool to the Loney Meadow parking lot.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology