Happy autumn! I hope where you are, you are starting to see the signs of this lovely season. Here in the Sonoran Desert, we have received abundant summer rains and are enjoying fantastic displays of butterflies and other wildlife. I captured this picture on a recent hike in the mountains - this observation would qualify as both "young individuals" and "feeding" in Nature's Notebook!

We've been fortunate in other ways as well. I'm excited to share that thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, we will continue all of the activities you've come to depend on from our team through 2022. We are very grateful to the NSF and our other past and current funders, including USFWS, USGS, USDA, NASA, and the University of Arizona. We are working hard to ensure long-term program sustainability beyond 2022.

The need for continued phenology data and information continues to grow - as you'll see in the applications mentioned below, USA-NPN data and resources are widely referenced. We are grateful to continue this work with you!
What's new at the USA National Phenology Network
Welcome, Nathan!
Please join us in welcoming Nathan Acosta, the USA-NPN's new Web Developer! Nathan is hard at work helping us to transition to a fully refreshed website. We can't wait for it to go live next year!

Nathan received a B.S. in Computer Science with an Informatics minor and an Undergraduate Certificate in Cyber Security from the University of Arizona. He grew up in Arizona's neighboring state of Sonora, Mexico and is passionate about researching and preserving the immense biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert.

More Observer Certification Course content
To maximize the quality of phenology observations contributed to Nature's Notebook, we are developing an online, self-paced course called the Observer Certification Course. We recently added the fourth module (of seven) to the course: The Plant and Animal Phenophases. This module provides information to help observers understand plant life cycles and identify the plant phenophases in Nature's Notebook. The entire course is expected to be online in the coming months. You must be logged into your Nature's Notebook account to access the course.

CDC Climate and Health Webinar recording available
A part of the CDC's Climate and Health Science Webinar Series, the Climate Change, Pollen and Allergies webinar highlighted the impacts of climate change on pollen, the use of flowering phenology to detect pollen activity, health risk assessments and surveillance related to pollen, advances in forecasting pollen, and translation of such research into effective patient care.

Data and data products
Pheno-Synthesis software suite published
A recently published paper describes multiple new software tools that enable integration and analysis of phenology data from multiple sources, including phenology observations maintained by USA-NPN and NEON, PhenoCam imagery, Landsat and MODIS imagery, and more. Code and more detailed information for each tool are described on a NASA Earthdata Bitbucket repository. This was supported by a NASA Advanced Information Systems Technology grant.

Updated Terms of Use
The phenology data collected at National Ecological Observatory Network sites and available from the USA-NPN are growing rapidly! We've recently updated the USA-NPN Terms of Use to encourage proper citation and attribution for data contributed by NEON. Please be sure to check this out if you use phenology data maintained by the USA-NPN!

Research spotlight
Nature’s Notebook observations key to interpreting satellite data
Xin et al. (2020) evaluated eight approaches to identifying the start (SOS) and end (EOS) of the growing season in MODIS imagery. The authors validated SOS and EOS estimates with phenology observations contributed to Nature’s Notebook. SOS and EOS estimates varied by as much as 50 days among approaches and recommend using an ensemble of multiple estimates to characterize phenometrics like SOS and EOS. This effort underscores the value of ground-based observations of phenology in interpreting imagery collected by remote instrument.

Image: Martin LaBar 
Local Phenology Leader Course Open
The fall Local Phenology Leader Certification Course will be starting shortly! Consider joining us for this 60-80 hour, 10-week long training program. The cost of the program is a non-refundable $55.

Leaders who are interested in setting aside time in their schedule this fall to develop an action plan for using Nature’s Notebook with students and/or volunteers, and creating resources that can be used when ready to launch a program, are encouraged to apply by September 10, 2021.

Upcoming meetings
Connecting Our World: Biometeorology 2021. Virtual, September 21-22, 2021.

American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. New Orleans, LA, December 13-17, 2021.
Theresa Crimmins