Fall seemed to be late in arriving across much of  the country this year. Here in Tucson, we've only recently dipped below the 90 degree mark for our daily high temperature. How will the plants and  animals that you track respond to these lingering warm fall temperatures? 

A sincere thank you to all of our Local Phenology Leaders and partners for helping reach our 2017 goal of 2.5 million records submitted to Nature's Notebook! The work that you do to train and engage your observers keeps high-quality data streaming into the National Phenology Database year after year! 

With gratitude, 



What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
Fall arriving late across the country               

Weather Underground reports that as of the end of October, 25% fewer states had a freeze than in normal years. A shorter freeze season means longer allergy season, longer mosquito and tick season, longer agricultural pest season, and cascading effects on plant and animal interactions. Are you seeing late fall phenology on your plants and animals this year? Report your findings in Nature's Notebook! 
Report on nectar availability this fall

A warmer-than-average August (www.ncdc.noaa.gov) across much of the country has led to what some are calling a " bonus generation" of monarchs . As these monarchs attempt to make their way south to Mexico for the winter, you can help us better understand the nectar available to them along the way by participating in the Nectar Connectors campaign ! We are especially interested in observations from Texas, Oklahoma, and surrounding areas. 
Recent happenings in the field of phenology
Linking phenology data from past to present

Authors of a new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution analyzed data from three sources - Henry David Thoreau's observations recorded over 150 years ago in Massachusetts, four decades of observations collected at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, and recent observations contributed by Nature's Notebook participants across the U.S. - to demonstrate how these disparate data sources can be combined to detect changes in flowering phenology over time.  The authors found increasing variability in the timing of flowering in recent years across datasets. This suggests that plants may be reaching the limit of how much they can advance their flowering to keep up with changing climate conditions.  

Biodiversity loss shifts flowering phenology

We know that changes in climate can shift flowering time in plants, but researchers at Columbia University recently found that loss of biodiversity can impact flowering time as well. Decreasing biodiversity from habitat loss, degradation or other environmental pressures can cause plants to flower earlier. This is the first study to look at how phenology is impacted by the experimental removal of co-occurring species.  
More ways to get involved
Citizen Science Funding Opportunity

Do you work on Forest Service land or partner with a Forest Service unit? A new grant opportunity will fund several citizen science projects up to $25,000 each. Projects should involve direct data collection or meet a Forest Service information need, have a duration of 6 months or longer, and have a genuine scientific or management outcome. Proposals are due Jan 31, 2018.

Feel free to reach out to us if you want to discuss how you might use this opportunity for your  Nature's Notebook Local Phenology Program! 

Photo: Ellen G Denny
Learning about leaves  

A new entry on the envirobites.org website takes an in-depth look at how trees decide it's time to grow or drop their leaves. The authors cover large-scale drivers like temperature and photo period, and small-scale variables like microclimate and soil moisture.  

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
MnPN meeting brings phenologists together

A few weeks ago, phenologists across Minnesota gathered to celebrate phenology at the 8th Annual Minnesota Phenology Network Gathering. Participants enjoyed two days of workshops, guided hikes, and presentations with Minnesota's leading phenologists.  Consider planning a gathering for your Local Phenology Program! It's a great way to bring together your observers to learn about what you are finding and celebrate the study of phenology. 

Learn more » 
Small grant opportunities for your program

Are you looking for funding to help your Local Phenology Program get up and running? Check out capacity grants from places like the National Environmental Education FoundationNOAA, and the EPA. You can also sign up for the  North American Association for Environmental Education  eePRO listserv for other opportunities. Private foundations are another good place to try. Check out REI's 

Erin Posthumus 
Outreach Coordinator
 LoriAnne head shot
LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator