Issue: Summer 2022


We reached an exciting milestone recently - 30 million records submitted via Nature's Notebook to the National Phenology Database! Of those records, over 700,000 where collected on 31 National Wildlife Refuges - thank you for your efforts! 

What happens to all of these data? A recent paper that several USA-NPN staff published in the journal BioScience describes many ways that these phenology data have been used in natural resource management and research. You can also sign up for our fall webinar on September 20th, How your Nature's Notebook Data are Used, where we describe research studies that used your data.   

Your efforts are so important in helping us understand seasonal changes in plant and animals! 


Thank you sincerely for your efforts,

Phenology on the Refuges

How typical was this year's spring?

How typical was this year’s spring? Darker colors represent springs that are unusually early or late in the long-term record. Gray indicates an average spring. In parts of Oregon, California, and Arizona, this year's spring leaf out is the earliest in the 40-year record (dark green). In parts of the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, this year's spring leaf out is the latest on record (dark purple). 

See how often we see a spring like this year on your refuge »

Nectar Connectors update

Refuges such as Neal Smith NWR and Minnesota Valley NWR are among our top contributing partners for Nectar Connectors, which asks observers to document flowering timing of nectar plants across the country to understand nectar availability for monarchs and other pollinators.  

Learn more »

Flowers for Bats update

Observers across Southern Arizona are tracking flowering of columnar cacti and agaves to help the USFWS understand nectar availability for the lesser long-nosed bat. This year, observers have reported fewer flowers on saguaros than in previous years. Additional years of data will show whether this is a pattern or an anomaly. 

Learn more »

Resources for our Refuge Partners

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

The impact of seed disperser decline

As the climate warms, many species adapt by shifting their range to higher elevations or different latitudes. For many plants, their ability to move depends on animals spreading their seeds to new areas. Authors of a new article in Science found that globally, 60% of plants moved by seed dispersers are having trouble keeping up with changes in climate, likely due to declines in their animal seed dispersers. In some areas, even decline of animal populations of a few percent were associated with 95% loss of climate-tracked seed dispersal. 

Read a summary of the article in Smithsonian Magazine »

American Robin with dogwood berry,

Credit: Bill Ernst

What's new at 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 »

Certified Observer badge

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 »

Partnership with Monarch Joint Venture

We are delighted to announce that the USA-NPN is now an official partner of Monarch Joint Venture. Monarch Joint Venture is an outstanding organization that works with a network of partners with the aim to protect monarchs and their migration. Your observations of Nectar Connectors plants helps to support this mission. If you are observing monarchs and milkweeds, Monarch Joint Venture has additional resources for reporting monarchs and information on how to create monarch habitats.

Learn more »

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Learn how your data are used

Do you ever wonder what happen to your Nature's Notebook phenology data when you hit the Submit button? In this webinar, NPN staff will share recent research that used your data! Tuesday, September 20th at 10am PT/AZ, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET.  

Register »

Time to Restore quarterly call September 

Join our Time to Restore team for an update on the project and opportunities to collaborate with others working on pollinator restoration in the South Central region. Thursday, Sept 8th at 12 pm MT / 1pm CT. Meeting link

Learn more »

LPL Monthly Calls

Our Local Phenology Leader Monthly Calls allow you to connect with your fellow leaders and learn from their knowledge. We want to hear from you about what topics you would like to focus on in future calls! You can see the list of past call topics and watch video recordings of the calls on our LPL Community of Practice page.

Learn more »

Stay Connected
Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator and USFWS Liaison
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