We hope you are enjoying some fall phenology during this holiday week! Now is a great time to start thinking about any changes or improvements you'd like to make to your phenology programs for next year. Do you need some help learning how to implement a program? Our next LPL Certification Course starts in January! Need a little extra funding to get things up and running? Check out the grant opportunities from USFS and the EPA below. Need some inspiration for your observers? Show them what scientists are finding with their data !
Giving thanks to you,
What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
A special campaign for Texas participants
The start of allergy season is a phenological event that impacts many of us to a great degree. Our new campaign, Pollen Trackers , seeks observations of flowering and pollen in Ashe's juniper aka mountain cedar, Juniperus ashei . This campaign is a collaboration with researchers at University of Texas at Austin, Drs.  Daniel Katz  and  Elizabeth Matsui .

Your observations as part of this campaign submitted over the winter season will help to predict when people are exposed to this highly allergenic pollen, laying the foundation for a regional pollen alert system. We may expand this campaign to other states in future years.

Staff changes at USA-NPN
Our dear Sharon Oliver, Administrative Associate for the USA-NPN since 2011, has retired! While she is most deserving of her retirement, we sure will miss her. Many of you have had frequent communications with Sharon over the years and we hope you will join us in wishing her the best.

While we say goodbye to Sharon, we welcome Kevin Wong , our new Application Systems Analyst/Developer. Kevin will help maintain and enhance the USA-NPN's software infrastructure. He joins us most recently from Los Angeles and has a diverse background including physics, math, statistics, and software engineering.

We also welcome undergraduate student Reilly Rodriguez who will be assisting on the administrative side of the USA-NPN with travel and expenditure processes. Reilly is part of the University of Arizona marching band's Color Guard and is interested in environmental law.

Land Surface Phenology maps available
The USA-NPN has released maps of land surface phenology indicators of greenness derived from MODIS Collection 6 satellite data. These maps show the timing of green-up and green-down across the continental United States spanning 2010-2017. 

This suite of products can be used to ask questions such as, where has spring leaf-out occurred earlier in recent years? How variable is leaf color change is across the United States? and, Where do we see the most total greenness across the growing season?

Recent happenings in the field of phenology
The impact of urbanization on phenology
Authors of a new study using Nature's Notebook data found that in cold regions, urbanization leads to earlier leaf-out and flowering in plants. However, in warmer temperate and sub-tropical regions, urbanization delays leafing and flowering. The authors speculate several reasons for this difference, including a lack of winter chilling that some plants require, heat stress, or a greater influence of other aspects of urbanization besides heat. Phenology can serve as the “canary in the coal mine” for climate change impacts on our environment, so keep those Nature’s Notebook observations coming!

Photo: Paul Beattie, via
Creative Commons
Changes in length of the spring season
Authors of a new article in Geophysical Research Letters , including our own Theresa Crimmins, used temperature data to look at long-term changes in the spring season. The authors analyzed 70 years of accumulated temperature thresholds connected with biological events in plants and animals. In many areas, these thresholds are occurring six to 20 days earlier than they did 70 years ago. The change is inconsistent across regions, with some areas seeing a lengthening in some regions and shortening in others. These changes have potential to disrupt species development and migration behaviors.

Figure from Crimmins and Crimmins 2019,
Geophysical Research Letters
Deer giving birth earlier due to warming
Authors of a new study published in Plos Biology found evidence that global warming is causing red deer in Scotland to give birth earlier in the year. Calves have been born about three days earlier per decade since the 1980s. The authors believe this is at least partly due to a selection for genes that cause the deer to give birth earlier. This is one of the first documented cases of evolution in response to climate change in animals.

Photo: Massimo Catarinella, via Wikimedia Commons
Related resources
USFS Citizen Science grant opportunity
The Citizen Science Competitive Funding Program is an opportunity for Forest Service units and partners to apply for up to $30,000 for collaborative citizen science projects. Applicants must include a US Forest Service partner. Proposals are due Dec 3rd.

EPA Environment Ed grant opportunity
The Environmental Protection Agency's Environment Education grants support environment education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship. Eligible applicants include education agencies and institutions, non-profits, educational broadcasting entities, and tribal education agencies. Applications are due Jan 6th.

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
Annual Survey and PhenoChampion Award
It's that time of year when we seek exciting details about how our Local Phenology Programs are doing! Look for an email in mid-December with a link to submit information for the the 2019 LPP Survey. The deadline to give us feedback will be Jan 25th, 2020.

Our PhenoChampion Awards submissions will be Jan 7th and due Feb 7th, 2020. Looking forward to hearing about all of your accomplishments!

Become a Local Phenology Leader
Ready to start your own program? Take our online course to become a  Certified Local Phenology Leader ! Courses run 10 weeks and are offered in spring and fall. A 3-week short course is offered in the summer. The next course will begin January 27th, 2020. You can sign up on the  interested list now to receive notification when the application is available next month.

LPL Community of Practice
Our LPL Community of Practice has an updated call schedule! We’ve switched to quarterly, with two date options per quarter. Call topics were selected by core team members who attended our successful first  Local Phenology Leader Clinic. Content will be delivered by teams who are co-creating solutions to Nature's Notebook implementation challenges. Join us and learn from peers who have active programs.

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator

LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator