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With Taylor Ricketts, PhD, Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont and Co-founder of the Natural Capital Project.

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FREE WEBINAR: Bees Love Solar - Corporate Leadership on Solar Arrays with Abundant Pollinator Habitat

Recorded live on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

In 2016 alone, nearly 2,500 acres of solar sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin were seeded with millions of native flowers and grasses including black-eyed susans, side-oats grama, purple prairie clover, butterfly milkweed, and calico aster. In the Midwest and other regions, corporations are taking an active role in accelerating the rate of adoption of pollinator-friendly solar development practices.

Join Dr. Taylor Ricketts of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and Fresh Energy’s Rob Davis for a webinar to discuss the science and safety of photovoltaic solar and the growing trend of planting pollinator habitat under and around ground-mounted solar panels.

Dr. Ricketts is director of the Gund Institute and co-founder of the Natural Capital Project, a partnership among universities and NGOs that maps and values natural benefits for different communities around the world. Before arriving at the Gund in 2011, he led World Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Science Program for nine years and continues to serves as a Senior Fellow at WWF.

In addition, Rob Davis will discuss Fresh Energy’s pioneering work in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, Monarch Joint Venture, the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, and others to establish standards as to what constitutes “pollinator friendly solar.” Davis will delve into the history of how pollinator-friendly solar was imported from the UK, where it is a common practice.


Learning outcomes will include the benefits of using a low-growing, pollinator-friendly vegetation management strategy on solar sites:

  • Additional wild pollinators increase yields in adjacent crops
  • Increases economic activity (local ecologists, landscapers, and seed growers)
  • Improved stormwater infiltration
  • Increases organic matter in the soil, improving it over time
  • Helps preserve agricultural viewscapes and a rural aesthetic


Taylor Ricketts, PhD, is Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. Ricketts integrates natural and social sciences to address both fundamental scientific issues and real-world conservation problems. His recent work focuses on the economic benefits provided to people by forests, wetlands, reefs, and other natural areas. Ricketts is co-founder of the Natural Capital Project, a partnership among universities and NGOs that maps and values natural benefits for different communities around the world. He has served as Convening Lead Author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a 5-year, UN-sponsored effort to assess global ecosystems and their contributions to human wellbeing. These and other collaborations are part of Taylor's continuing effort to link rigorous research with practical conservation and policy efforts worldwide. Before arriving at UVM in 2011, he led World Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Science Program for nine years and continues to serves as a Senior Fellow at WWF. Ricketts is the author of over 70 scientific publications, and his work has been featured in over 100 stories, in more than 20 media outlets.

Steve Levitsky is Vice President of Sustainability for Perdue Farms, where he is responsible for advancing Perdue’s progress in achieving sustainable growth, fostering working relationships with a broad-spectrum of stakeholders at the federal, state and local level, and serving as the company’s spokesperson on sustainability and environmental matters. Levitsky joined Perdue from American Sugar Refining Inc., where he served as Director of Corporate Sustainability and helped create and implement a global sustainability program. Levitsky reports to CEO Randy Day. Levitsky has been on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals since 2012, and served on the Maryland State Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities by appointment of the governor.

Rob Davis tells the stories of pioneering people, ideas, and organizations. As director of the Media & Innovation Lab at Fresh Energy, Rob helps accelerate the nation’s transition to use of clean and renewable energy. Previously, he helped launch technology start-ups and created the international crowdsourced campaign that launched the Firefox web browser. He is a two-time recipient of the Teresa Du Bois Exline Award for Best Practices in Communications and Marketing and a graduate of Macalester College.

June 20, 2017 11:00 AM
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