Southwest Season Tracker campaign

Welcome to the fourth and final year of the Southwest Season Trackers campaign! Your observations of leaves and flowers on southwest shrubs support research at the Jornada Experimental Range to better understand plant growth and biomass. The researchers are testing a model developed by the Agricultural Research Service called ALMANAC (Agriculture Land Management Alternative with Numerical Assessment Criteria) that explores the impact of temperature, soil conditions, and presence of plant competitors on plant growth. These models can be used by farmers to forecast crop yields under different conditions. The data you collect on southwest shrub and grass phenology provides an independent dataset to evaluate the performance of the model.

We have added a fourth year to this campaign to add one more year of data on leafing and flowering of southwest shrubs to support the model testing work being done at the Jornada. We'll provide you with periodic updates on this project over the course of the spring, summer, and fall of 2019.
How to get started
1. If you have not already done so, set up a site and add your plants to it in  Nature's Notebook . Visit our website for further details on using Nature's Notebook  to observe phenology of southwest shrubs .
2. Start checking your shrubs (at least weekly) for leaves and flowers. 

3. Report your observations . Periodically log into your Observation Deck and transfer your observations from your paper data sheet into the online reporting system.

Did you know?  You can enter your observations directly using our mobile apps for Android or Apple devices.
What you are reporting so far this year
Observers have reported on southwest shrubs at 33 sites so far this year. Is your site on the map?
Sites reporting on southwest shrubs in 2019. Darker colors represent sites with more observations for that species.
We have many Local Phenology Programs (LPPs) submitting data on southwest shrubs along with our backyard observers. The LPPs submitting the most data so far this year are Joshua Tree National Park in CA , McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Phenology Trails in Scottsdale, AZ , and Tonoho Chul park in Tucson, AZ . Thank you for your efforts!
Observers reported young leaves on honey mesquite in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and American tarwort at one site in New Mexico. Observers reported flowers or flower buds on honey mesquite in California and New Mexico.
Observers reported young leaves and flowers or flower buds on creosote bush and fourwing saltbush at sites in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Observers reported flowers or flower buds for soaptree yucca in southern Arizona.

Keep watching your shrubs for leafing and flowering this spring. Remember, the "no" observations that you report leading up to your first "yes" report are very important in helping data users to pinpoint when your tree first had flowers.

Earn your Southwest Season Tracker badge! You can earn this badge by observing a Southwest Season Tracker species once a week for six separate weeks in the same year. See it on your Observation Deck .

Thank you for your contributions to this important project!
Erin Posthumus