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Discover LifeShoal Creek Sanctuary
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Polistes Foundation

Our mission is to assemble and share knowledge in order to improve education, health, agriculture, economic development, and conservation throughout the world.

Polistes metricus


The Polistes Foundation, named after a genus of social wasps, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2002. It helps support Discover Life, the Shoal Creek Sanctuary, and diverse projects on bees, birds, moths and other taxa.

The Polistes Foundation was awarded permanent standing by the I.R.S. in 2007. It charges only 10-15% indirect costs on all funds that it handles, spending 85-90% on its research and education activities.

Our key partners include Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Texas. Their campus computing cloud serves Discover Life and houses over 20 TB of its digital information. We are building an endowment at SHSU to continue supporting Discover Life into the foreseeable future.

Discovering for Life -- a capital campaign

Discovering for Life seeks funds to understand and sustain life. It is based on the knowledge and lessons that we have gained over the past 20 years from Discover Life, our other programs, and think tank sessions. Its focus is to generate the means to integrate existing knowledge with new findings from our long-term, intensive study sites and SHIELD -- a proposed extensive network of thousands of study sites. The campaign will support:

  1. Discover Life, software and database development,
  2. Shoal Creek Sanctuary and three other sites that will replicate its long-term, intensive studies.
  3. Field stations and labs to inventory species and document their interactions,
  4. SHIELD -- multisite research to understand the drivers of change through natural experiments,
  5. Thinking retreats to engauge a wide range of perspectives and develop better policy,
  6. Coordinating volunteers for civil society and the environment.

Board of Directors

Our board members are volunteers. We work together virtually and make decisions by consensus. As part of Discovering for Life we anticipate adding four or so new members to round out our leadership.


  •  John Pickering -- pick@discoverlife.org -- 706-254-7446
  •  Kevin Weick -- weickkd@gmail.com -- 617-484-6428

Mailing Address

     Kevin Weick
     Polistes Foundation
     133 Washington Street
     Belmont, MA 02478

Updated: 28 April, 2023