National Citizen Science Day is this Saturday, April 13th. Whether you call it citizen science, community science, crowd-sourced science, participatory science, or another term, it's certainly something to celebrate. Take time to appreciate your own efforts in recording important information about plant and animal phenology. To celebrate Citizen Science Day with others, find an event near you on the Event Finder page .
Below, we have resources to help you improve your observation skills, including a b rand new Observer Certification Course , a Nugget focused on leaves, and a video of the Phenophase Webinar we recorded last month.
What your data are telling us
How often does your location see a spring like this one?
In places where spring has sprung, how often have we seen a spring like this one? The USA-NPN's   spring leaf out  map shines light on where leaf out of early season plants has occurred across the country. In the map below, darker colors represent springs that are unusually early or late in the long-term record. Gray indicates an average spring.

Integrating herbarium data with observed phenology
Integrating herbarium data with contemporary phenology data requires standardized terminology, definitions, and principles. The authors of a new study in  Applications in Plant Sciences   describe the Plant Phenology Ontology, an effort to integrate herbarium and field data. They demonstrate the use of this framework by combining herbarium data and observations from  Nature’s Notebook   to show that in North America, flowering time for black cherry ( Prunus serotina ) has been steadily accelerating since 1873.

Prunus serotina ,
Photo: Sten via Wikimedia Commons
What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
New! Observer Certification Course
The new Observer Certification Course lets you test your skills at phenology observation with Nature's Notebook . Once you pass the course your observations will be tagged as submitted by a Certified Observer . You'll also receive the new badge featured at right. Find the Course on your Observation Deck, at the top of the page under the Learning tab.

Certified Observer Badge
Help us reach our new goal for this year
Our  Nature's Notebook  and USA-NPN webpages have a fresh new look for 2019. The  Nature's Notebook  homepage includes a new goal for this year - 4,000 observers submitting data in 2019. You can help us get there by spreading the word and recruiting a friend to join Nature's Notebook !

2018 Annual Report
Our 2018 Annual Report shares stories of how researchers and decision makers are using your data and the great work Nature's Notebook participants like you are doing with USA-NPN resources. Check it out - maybe we'll highlight you next year!

Recent happenings in the field
How do trees know when to wake up?
A new article in the  Chicago Tribune   describes how Christy Rollinson, forest ecologist at the Morton Arboretum, uses Nature's Notebook   to track how trees are impacted as winters grow shorter and milder.

Photo: Ellen G Denny
Natural rhythms out of wack
In a blog post in Yale Climate Connections , author Sara Peach uses composer Vivaldi's "Spring" from "The Four Seasons" to illustrate how small shifts in timing can make a big difference.

Nature's Notebook Nuggets
A deep dive into leaf phenophases
This Nature's Notebook Nugget provides tips on reporting on the leaves phenophases, including which phenophases overlap with one another, when to stop reporting increasing leaf size, and when to stop reporting dead leaves that stay on the plant.

More ways to get involved
Phenology on American Spring LIVE
This spring, phenology will be a major part of the new PBS Nature mini series  American Spring LIVE ! The USA-NPN will be featured in the third and final episode focused on Connections on May 1st.

Viewers are invited to become a citizen scientist by getting involved in one of several projects including the new  Track a Lilac project . This is a special project to invite the public to submit one-time observations of leafing and flowering in lilacs. After testing the waters of citizen science, interested participants are invited to join  Nature's Notebook   for long-term observations.

Watch our phenophase webinar
Did you miss our Phenophase Webinar? You can watch the recording to get tips from our staff on what to fret, what not to fret, common errors, and the big picture value of your data.

Photo: Ellen G Denny

Erin Posthumus