The Fall Equinox approaches, a time of many seasonal changes. Perhaps you are already seeing leaf color on trees that you track in Nature's Notebook, or migrating birds that are traveling south to their wintering grounds. Or perhaps you've noticed the lack of certain species like adult butterflies. Don't forget to report those first "no" observations that follow the "yeses" in Nature's Notebook, they are so important!

We have many changes happening here at the USA-NPN as well! One bittersweet change is the departure of staff member Alyssa Rosemartin, who has been with the USA-NPN since 2008. She is moving onto new opportunities as a Racial Justice Organizer with an organization in Salem, Massachusetts, where she'll continue to share her skills in relationship building and working with others to make real changes. I hope you will join us in wishing Alyssa all the best!

We are also getting close to the launch (shall we say emergence?) of our new website. It's been a long road, but our team is so excited to share it with you! You can get a sneak peak at some of our new features, including a much improved Observation Deck and new Local Phenology Program profile pages, by volunteering to be a website tester. Email me to find out more!


What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN

Your data in State of the Climate Report

The State of the Climate is a special supplement produced by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society each year. For the first time this year, data collected through Nature's Notebook on red oak in the Northeast were included in the section summarizing the start and end of seasonal activity of plants.

Read the report »

USA-NPN wins AGU's Science and Society Team Award!

The USA-NPN is the recipient of the Science and Society Team Award, presented annually to a team who employs collaborative models of scientific research, demonstrates equitable distribution of the outputs and impacts of research, and elevates efforts to produce and translate scientific knowledge to serve society. This award is unique in that it is tailored to award a team of researchers and their partners representing both scientific and societal interests, with the goal of jointly addressing societal needs. Thank you for being part of our Network - you make this important work possible!

Learn more »

Recent happenings in the field of phenology

Creating a better forecast for invasive emerald ash borer 

Ash trees on are the decline, and the main culprit is emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive pest that has killed millions of ash trees in the United States. Knowing where and when to expect EAB emergence gives managers an advantage in controlling this pest, helping them to know when to take actions to control the pest. In a new article, Barker et al. evaluate a model that predicts activity of EAB, taking into account both phenology and locations that have suitable climate for this pest. They used observations of EAB, including those from Nature’s Notebook, to test their model and found that it correctly estimated over 99% of presence records and predicted dates of adult EAB emergence within 7 days. This paper demonstrates how your observations can be used in the realm of invasive species, helping to improve management and ultimately conserve the unique ecosystems that we care about. 

Learn more »

See all Highlighted Publications »

Photo: David Cappaert,

Track bird migration in your area

BirdCast, a tool from Colorado State University and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, predicts noctural migration of birds on a daily basis. You can also see radar-based data of how many birds actually crossed through your state or county on their Migration Dashboard. For example there were over 800,000 birds flying over Pima County, AZ last night!

Visit BirdCast »

Rare bird sightings linked to phenology

Unusual bird sightings aren't new; a strong storm can steer birds hundreds of miles off course. A Roseate Spoonbill recently spotted in Wisconsin was the first one in 178 years, but these sightings are becoming more common. One theory is that as we see large-scale changes in weather, the impact isn't limited to direct influences on blowing a bird off course, but also changes in the phenology of their food, particularly insects.

Read the article »

Roseate Spoonbill,

Photo: Tom Grey

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders

Apply to the Fall LPL Course by next week

If you need more help getting your Local Phenology Program up and running, look no further than our Local Phenology Leader Certification Course! The course will walk you through how to create a long-term program plan, explain how to use the Nature's Notebook LPP tools and resources, and provide tips on volunteer recruitment, annual report writing, and more! Plus you'll be in a cohort with 20 other leaders with plenty of opportunities to share ideas and resources. The 10-week course takes between 6-8 hours a week, costs $55 to cover materials costs, and start at the end of September. Applications close on Sept 18th. The course will run Sept 29-Dec 1, 2023.

Learn more about the Course »

Apply »

Test our new website!

Do you want a chance to test drive our new USA-NPN website, including an improved Observation Deck and new Local Phenology Program profile pages? Get in touch and we'll find a time to get your feedback on the new site!

Email [email protected] to test the new site »

EPA's Environment Education Grants open

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s 2023 Environmental Education (EE) Local Grant Program is now open. EPA will award 30-40 grants of $50,000-$100,000 each. This grant supports projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, preventing future water quality and human health issues, in addition to other environmental topics. Applications are due Nov 8, 2023. You can subscribe to the EE Grants Listserv to hear about webinars related to this grant.  

Learn more and apply »

Related resources

How phenology helps manage bees

On the Honey Bee Obscura podcast, Kim Flottum and Jim Tew discuss how beekeepers can use phenology calendars to know when the nectar will be available for their bees, and why more real-time information on flowering (like those you collect in Nature's Notebook) is even more useful. This podcast is part of Growing Planet Media, LLC's Beekeeping Today.

Listen to the podcast »

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator
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