I hope that you are enjoying the summer and staying cool, wherever you may be. Here at the USA-NPN, we are hard at work on a new website that will provide a more streamlined set of resources for you! The website will include a new map interface that will help you to connect with others near you. We can't wait to share it with you later this summer!

Speaking of our new website, we are looking for volunteers for a new "Local Phenology Programs in Action" section! Send me a brief 2-3 sentence description highlighting your Program and how you are using Nature's Notebook, and a photo of your observers in the field. 

In the meantime, stay connected with us through the Local Phenology Program Community of Practice - we have monthly calls the third Friday of each month. This year we are inviting Local Phenology Programs to share successes and challenges from their Programs (want to talk about your LPP - let me know!). You can watch recordings of past calls and sign up for information about future calls. We hope you will join us!


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

New learning module on intensity

The fifth and final module of the Observer Certification Course is now available! The new module, Intensity Measures, teaches you how to answer questions such as "What percentage of the potential canopy space is full with leaves?" and "How many flowers or flower buds do you see?" Observers who complete all 5 modules will earn a Certified Observer tag in the database as well as a virtual badge and certificate.

A big thank you to Ellen Denny, our Monitoring Design and Data Coordinator, for creating the course! 

See the module »

Do campaign emails improve your data?

An unplanned interruption in our Springcasting emails to lilac observers allowed us to look at the impact of our messages on the accuracy and precision of phenology data. We found that observers who opened the messages had more accurate reports of leaf out with greater precision (fewer days between that last "no" and first "yes"). We hope to leverage what we learned to help you improve data quality! 

Learn more »

Help us reach 4 million records in 2022!

We have a beautiful new observation goal graphic, created by graphic designer Terry Moody, that will track the progress toward four million records recorded this year in Nature's Notebook! You can watch the monarch butterfly move through different phenophases throughout the year as your efforts reach new milestones.

See the goal graphic »

Recent happenings in the field of phenology

Citizen science data spanning 200 years illuminate changes in plant phenology

The authors of a new study in the Journal of Ecology compared a historical dataset of plant phenology recorded in New York state from 1826-1872 to contemporary observations collected through Nature’s Notebook from 2009-2017. On average, plants flower 10.5 days earlier and leaf out 19 days earlier now than 200 years ago. The authors found impacts of urbanization, greater advancement of flowering timing in earlier season species, greater advancement in trees and shrubs than forbs, and greater advancement in insect-pollinated species. The standardized observations you record in Nature’s Notebook are invaluable for understanding the direction and magnitude of changes in the timing of life cycle events of plants and animals.

Learn more »

See all Highlighted Publications »

Ulmus americana

Credit: Mac Post

Birds nesting a month early in the US

Researchers found that a third of bird species they studied are nesting nearly a month earlier than they were 100 years ago. While the earlier nesting may allow birds to keep up with advances in leaf out and insect activity, one drawback to earlier nesting is exposure to cold snaps that can arrive in spring.

Learn more »

Yellow Warbler,

Credit: Tom Grey

Right whales adapting to climate change

The Gulf of Maine is one of the fastest-warming ocean regions. Researchers have found that endangered North Atlantic right whales, with a population of merely a few hundred individuals, have shifted their feeding and migration patterns in response. Now, timing of regulations and restrictions on fishing activities in the area put in place to ensure the whales safety will need to be shifted as well.  

Learn more »

Credit: Moira Brown and New England Aquarium

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders

Results from the 2021 LPP Survey

Each year, we ask for information about your Local Phenology Programs, feedback on which of our resources are most helpful to you, and input on what other resources would help you with your Programs. Your most-used resources in 2021 were the Visualization Tool, LPP Dashboards, and Phenology Observation Portal. The area where you need the most assistance is analyzing your LPP's data. To address that need, we have a Data Analysis Guidance project in the works. More on that later this year!

See the Annual Survey results »

LPL Certification Course this fall

Do you need some guidance to get your Local Phenology Program up and running? Enroll in our 10-week online Local Phenology Leader Certification Course running this Sept-Nov! Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Samantha Brewer will lead you through program planning activities, show you how to set up your sites, plants/animals in Nature's Notebook, and help you create tools for recruiting and training volunteers.  

Learn more about the Course »

Join the Interest List to be notified when the application opens »

Have you used your custom Viz Tool link?

Did you know that your Local Phenology Program has a custom link that allows you to filter to see just your data in the Visualization Tool? Administrators can find the link on the Manage Users page of your Observation Deck, and the link is also publicly available on the Active Local Phenology Program page under your individual listing. If you don't see your LPP listed, let me know

Explore your LPP's data in the Viz Tool »

Related resources

Ecological Restoration is for all ages

This colorful book introduces young kids to the field of ecological restoration. The book has a hopeful message about what kids can do to be part of the solution. 

Learn more in a Q&A with author Dr. Elise Gornish »

Am I even a bee?

Written by Dr. Felicity Muth and Illustrated by Alexa Lindauer, Am I Even a Bee? is the story of Osmia, a solitary bee, decidedly green and unquestionably un-fuzzy. In this beautiful story, Osmia discovers that while fame is great, diversity and acceptance are essential to a happy ecosystem.

Learn more »

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator
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