Copy Who we are dup

Don Rolfs

A lifelong naturalist, teacher, mountain climber, graphic artist and skilled photographer, Dr. Don Rolfs grew up in the mountains and wilderness of Washington state.

He has always had an affinity for native pollinators–his butterfly and moth collection won him a college scholarship in a state-wide science fair!

Don’s academic training includes mammology, ornithology, ecology, botany and photography. He was a very successful dental surgeon for many years.

Retired since 2005, Don has been conducting original research on our native bees. Don has given many presentations on Washington’s native bees and the need to protect our native pollinators. His focus to detail has helped improve many aspects of field work associated with bumble bees and other native bee species.

Lisa Robinson

Though we had attracted many bees to our new xeric, mostly native yard and I was finding them interesting photography subjects, the key moment in my conversion to native bees was when I took Natural Science Illustration at Wenatchee Valley College. 

For our final project we were instructed to use the specimens in the Biology lab and I fell for a bright metallic blue bee. Then I came across a poster for one of Don Rolfs native bee programs and eventually tracked him down to see if he could tell me what kind of bee I had.  I ended up volunteering to sort and ID the Bumble bees–thinking, “there are only 25 or so–how hard can it bee?”  (It’s certainly not easy.  I have not yet finished!) 

That led to much more study which continues to this day because there is so much to learn and so much we still do not know about these fascinating insects.  

Bob Gillespie

BOB Picture goes here

I am retired and want to spend my retirement encouraging individuals to develop pollinator gardens around their homes and farms.  I want to help them become familiar with the native bees attracted to their habitat.

I have a MS in Entomology with a focus on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and a Ph.D in Biology with an emphasis in insects and ecology.

I tell people that insects took me under their wings and provided me with a vocation, a passion for understanding the key role insects play in healthy ecosystems, and how dependent our lives are on their existence.

I spent five years at the Montana Department of Agriculture helping to develop IPM programs for mint and seed potatoes.  I also worked at the WSU Extension Service at Washington State University in Grant and Adams counties before, in 1998, a teaching positon became available at Wenatchee Valley College.  I spent the next 20 years teaching courses in Biology, Sustainable/Organic Agriculture, Natural Resources, Outdoor Recreation, and Chemistry at the College

 During the spring and summers I have been conducting insect surveys.  Two of my larger studies focused on native bees:

***2008-2010 Survey of diurnal pollinators of native plants of the shrub-steppe for the Bureau of Land Management.  I collaborated with Dr. Don Rolfs on this study. 

***2013-2017 Survey of native bees associated with native plants bordering cherry orchards.

BOB Picture goes here

David Jennings

David Jennings started young as a naturalist. He had the opportunity to study for two summers on the Smithsonian Institute’s Barro Colorado Island in Panama, where he worked as a field apprentice during high school summer breaks, mistnetting birds and researching sloths, howler monkeys, bats and silky anteaters.

David has a BSFR in Forestry and Wildlife and a master’s in Biostatistics. His passion is wildlife conservation. While in college he was privileged to study under, and garden for, Dr. Eugene Odum, father of modern Ecology.

He has helped protect native forests in Georgia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma before moving to Washington state in 1990. Once here he helped found the 501(c)3 Gifford Pinchot Task Force to protect our remaining ancient forests in SW Washington. He served as their Board Chair for ~15 years.

David is an avid scuba diver here in our NW waters. In 2012 he was honored with the Volunteer of the Year award from REEF for his advocacy for the beleaguered rockfish in Puget Sound. His passion for conservation resulted in Governor Gregoire appointing him to the state Fish and Wildlife Commission where he served from 2009 to 2013, helping pass the the State Wolf Management plan.

David focused on bumble bees and other native pollinators as a needed return to field work after serving on the commission. He has been somewhat obsessed with bumbles ever since…

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