By participating in the Bee Campus USA program, Auburn University seeks to foster efforts to study, promote, and protect pollinators.
Bees and other pollinators provide critical services for the production of food, forage, and fibers, including many crops important to Alabama’s economy. Unfortunately, in recent years honey bee colonies have experienced unprecedented mortality, while many wild pollinators face population declines. This creates the potential for negative consequences across our natural, agricultural, economic, and social systems.
By fulfilling the commitments of the ‘Bee Campus USA’ program, Auburn aims to unite current efforts to raise awareness on pollinators, food production, native plant species, and integrated pest management, all while stimulating Alabama’s economy through species protection and the services that support those efforts. In addition, these efforts generate campus synergies that enable faculty and staff to bridge the academic and operational divide to create new opportunities in research, instruction, and extension related to pollinators and environmental health.
We encourage you to learn more about the Bee Campus USA program, along with the activities here at Auburn, by exploring the topics below. Auburn received the official Bee Campus USA designation in April 2018, making us the 39th university in the nation and the first in the state of Alabama to receive this honor. Our initial activities related to the 7 commitments have been summarized below, and will be updated annually to reflect our efforts to uphold the Bee Campus designation.
If you have questions, would like additional information, or want to get involved, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- The Bee Campus USA Committee has commenced work on developing a campus-wide pollinator habitat plan, and anticipates it shall be completed by the end of the 2020 academic year. To date, students from the Department of Geosciences have worked with the Campus Planning and Landscapes Services units within Facilities Management to complete a GIS-based inventory of all landscape beds, zones, and annual color beds across campus, including calculated planting areas. In addition, an initial listing of state and regional nurseries carrying native plants/shrubs/trees has been assembled for inclusion in the plan.
- Various departments, units, and organizations within Auburn University regularly host events centered on pollinator awareness or can easily integrate messaging related to pollinators and Bee Campus USA. The Auburn Bee Campus USA Committee sees an opportunity to collectively brand these events under the Bee Campus USA accreditation to increase awareness on pollinators and raise the profile of Bee Campus USA activities both at Auburn and within the larger Bee Campus movement. An initial listing of regularly held events that have the potential to become awareness events include:
- Welcome Week Sustainability Picnic
- Farm Fest/Tigers on the Green
- Azalea Festival & Native Plant Sale
- Bat Walk
- Fall Fruit Tour
- Ag Discovery Day
- Medicinal Garden Tours
- While an official inventory of student service-learning has not yet been conducted, preliminary discussions appear promising for the integration of these types of activities into courses and student activities throughout the university. Areas, where service learning has already occurred or could be integrated, include:
- College of Agriculture – Laboratory of Insect Pollination & Apiculture
- College of Sciences and Mathematics, Department of Geosciences — Geographic Information System Courses
- Minor in Sustainability Studies — Senior Capstone in Sustainability
- School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
- Auburn for Bees student group plot in the Auburn University Community Garden
- The Big Event service project
- Alabama Cooperative Extension System hosts an annual Beekeeping Symposium, which in recent years has drawn over 700 enthusiasts.
- Other areas where these topics can possibly be integrated into the curriculum include:
- College of Agriculture’s Horticulture department
- College of Agriculture’s Entomology & Plant Pathology department
- College of Architecture, Design, & Construction’s Landscape Architecture department
- Signage related to pollinators and their habitats can easily be integrated into a number of areas across campus, including:
- Future areas to explore for signage placement include:
- Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve
- Weagle Woods
- Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
- Viacom Pond Outdoor Area
- It is the committee’s intention to maintain this webpage as a repository of past, current, and future efforts surrounding the Bee Campus USA commitments. In addition, events related to pollinators will be included on the Office of Sustainability calendar of events, and searchable based on the keywords “Bee Campus USA” and “Pollinators.”
Annually apply for renewal of the institution’s designation and submit a brief report of the previous year’s Bee Campus USA activities following the format provided.
- The annual renewal process will be a committee-based process, but will be formally submitted and financially supported by the Office of Sustainability.
The Auburn Bee Campus USA Committee began as an informal working group in early 2017 focused on unifying the mutli-faceted, pollinator-related efforts already underway on campus. Since then, it has both grown in membership and purview, with the members listed below now working together to actively and formally support the Bee Campus USA commitments. The committee serves as a network of representatives from the academic, extension, and operational areas of the university, and meets at least once per semester or more frequently, as needed.
2018-2019 Committee Members
Arthur Appel — Entomology & Plant Pathology
Morgan Beadles — Davis Arboretum
Valerie Friedmann — Landscape Architecture
Tia Gonzalez — Medicinial Garden
Richard Guether — Campus Planning
David Hill — Landscape Architecture
Gary Keever — Horticulture
Kressie Kronis — Auburn for Bees – Student Group
Glenn Loughridge — Tiger Dining
Charles Ray — Entomology & Plant Pathology, Extension
Glenn Rodgers — Facilities Management
Stephanie Rogers — Geosciences
Kerry Smith — Horticulture
Amy Strickland — Office of Sustainability
Justin Sutton — Landscape Services
Geoffrey Williams — Entomology & Plant Pathology