Date of Award


Semester of Degree


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology


Environmental and Forest Biology

Major Professor

Melissa Fierke

Steering Committee Member

Erin White

Steering Committee Member

Matthew Schlesinger


Concerns regarding pollinator declines have grown recently, yet detection of changes in species richness, abundance, and guild composition are inhibited by a lack of data over space and time. New York State initiated surveys for pollinators in multiple ecoregions and habitat types across NYS to assess current distributions as rarity measures. Sampling took place from May–Aug 2018 with contributions by community scientists. Pollinator richness was influenced by habitat (meadow, roadside, wetland, forest), floral presence and abundance, and interactions between floral abundance and month, but not ecoregion. Research to date on data collection quality by community science volunteers has provided mixed results, thus, data collected by volunteers was evaluated relative to paid field biologists. Results suggest volunteers added valuable data to that collected by paid biologists. Volunteers (both via field collection and digital submissions) increased quantified species richness, of both common and species of conservation interest, and informed where species occurred. This research informs development and implementation of conservation practices.