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Meet the Native Bee Watch Team   arrow

The Native Bee Watch Community Science Program is comprised of an interdisciplinary team all passionate about bee conservation, education, and research. We have a variety of subject matter expertise on all aspects of the program. Our team members and partners currently include:

  • CSU Extension and the CSU Extension Intern program
  • School of Education, College of Health and Human Sciences, CSU
  • Front Range Community College GeoEx Center
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service

Core Team

Lisa Mason

Lisa is the Horticulture Agent for CSU Extension in Arapahoe County. She started Native Bee Watch in 2016 for her Master’s Degree in entomology at Colorado State University. In 2018, she brought Native Bee Watch to CSU Extension when she started her position. Lisa enjoys bringing science education to communities on pollinators, insects, trees, plants, gardening, home landscape care, and ecology. Her research interests include using community science to support pollinator conservation. Lisa is passionate about the Native Bee Watch program because it incorporates education, research, and on-the-ground community work—all important components needed to support pollinator conservation.

Arathi Seshadri

Dr. Arathi Seshadri is a Research Entomologist at the USDA ARS Invasive Species and Pollinator Health Research Unit and the Lead Scientist at the Honey bee health lab in Davis, California. Arathi is a pollination biologist with expertise in pollinator behavior, pollination ecology, plant-pollinator mutualisms and plant reproductive strategies. Her contributions include demonstrating the impact of plant traits and responses on honeybee health, developing agroecosystem-based approaches for pollinator sustainability on farmland, ecological applications to conserve pollinators in rangelands and citizen science programs to support pollinators in urban areas.  

Jill Zarestky

Jill Zarestky, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Adult Education and Training program in the School of Education at Colorado State University. Her research interests include informal STEM education and issues of sustainability. For Jill, NBW brings together the ecological and social strategies to address meaningful issues in our gardens, communities, and Colorado. 

Lauren Vilen

Lauren Vilen, M.Ed., is a doctoral student in the School of Education at Colorado State University. Her research interests include adult teaching and learning, professional identity, environmental adult education, and community-based education.

Lauren’s professional background includes public lands management and non-profit program management, where she developed and implemented service-learning programs and provided young adults with training and education focused on environmental stewardship and job readiness in the natural resource field. Lauren is a Minnesota native who loves camping and backcountry canoeing. Since moving to Colorado, she has enjoyed exploring the many public lands and hiking trails. Lauren’s excited about being part of Native Bee Watch because she believes in lifelong science and environmental learning, and that everyone can contribute to improving pollinator habitat.

Summer 2021 Interns and Employees

Cassie McDonald, CSU Extension Intern

Cassie McDonald is currently pursuing her master’s in public health as part as the MPH/DVM combined program at Colorado State University. She will start veterinary school this fall and hopes to work in the field of sustainable agriculture. Cassie’s professional background includes a degree in equine science and experience in both veterinary practice and lab work. Cassie is excited to be part of the Native Bee Watch team as pollinators are a vital component of our food system. She is looking forward to connecting with many volunteers and learning more about bees!

Sam Palmer, CSU Extension Intern

Sam Palmer is earning her M.Ed in Adult Education and Training in the School of Education at Colorado State University. Her research interests are in environmental education, career development, and community-based education. Sam’s professional background includes adventure tourism, where she provided cultural history and environmental education while leading bicycle tours. She also worked for a Fort Collins non-profit managing volunteers and running events. Sam is excited about being part of Native Bee Watch because she believes that citizen science is a great way to build community relationships.

Linda Parnes, GeoEx Center Employee, Front Range Community College

I am a student at Front Range Community College (FRCC) earning a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I’ve always had an interest in maps and data. As a student employee at the FRCC GeoEx Center, I am applying my GIS skills to help the Native Bee Watch Community Science program by assisting with data clean-up and organization, and creating a dashboard that will serve as an educational tool for volunteers to see their data contributions in real-time. 

The Geospatial Experience Center (GeoEx) at Front Range Community College was created to give students the opportunity to take on real world GIS projects and gain experience to prepare them for the workforce. GeoEx is funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF), Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant (no. 1902295). For more information, click here.

Past Student Employees

Sarah Viders, CSU Extension Intern, Summer 2020 – View internship poster presentation

Brooke Sayre-Chavez, Undergraduate Student Employee, former CSU Pollination Biology Lab under Dr. Arathi Seshadri

Colton O’Brien, Undergraduate Student Employee, former CSU Pollination Biology Lab under Dr. Arathi Seshadri

Victoria Halligan, Undergraduate Student Employee, former CSU Pollination Biology Lab under Dr. Arathi Seshadri

Tabitha Covey, Undergraduate Student Employee, former CSU Pollination Biology Lab under Dr. Arathi Seshadri