Happy new year! I hope your year is off to a great start. We are starting this year with toasts all around. The FY23 budget that was passed last December included funding to support the USA National Phenology Network! We are looking forward to working closely with the US Geological Survey to continue and expand the collection and delivery of phenology data and products. So many thanks to you, the phenology community, for your continued engagement and enthusiasm!

It's hard to believe, but spring - and all of the associated phenological events - are right around the corner! Here at the USA-NPN headquarters, we are preparing ourselves for this key season. We'd love to hear what phenological activity you've observed so far, especially if it seems extra early (or late).

And I can't believe this is the 15th year of phenology data collection through Nature's Notebook, what a milestone! We've got some other great things planned for this year that I can't wait to share. It's going to be a great year!

What's new at the USA National Phenology Network

Get your USA-NPN branded gear!

Gear up for your observations with USA-NPN and Nature's Notebook merchandise! T-shirts, mugs, and hoodies featuring the USA-NPN's logos are now available to order, featuring Sprig, the Nature's Notebook mascot! Enter the code NARRATIVE for 15% off your purchase.

Visit the USA-NPN store »

Data and Data Products

International Cherry Blossom Prediction Competition returns!

The second international prediction competition, “When Will the Cherry Trees Bloom?”, will be open throughout February 2023 for all statisticians and data scientists, from experts to students just beginning to use statistical software. Complete submissions include a short narrative and a link to a publicly accessible Git repository. 

Compete for prizes of up to $5,000 and help scientists better understand the impacts of climate change. 

Learn more »

Red brome Pheno Forecast poised to debut

Through a collaboration with the US Geological Survey, the USA-NPN will debut a Pheno Forecast indicating when red brome (Bromus rubens) flowers and senesces. This information can support grazing rotations as well as estimating wildfire risk. The forecasts are expected to go live by February, 2023.

See all USA-NPN Pheno Forecasts »

Research Spotlight

Nature's Notebook observations show promise for use in pollen forecasting

A group of USA-NPN collaborators recently used over 4,000 Nature’s Notebook observations of oak (Quercus) trees in the eastern US to explore the relationship between flowering and air pollen. By finding a link between temperature and open flowers, they were able to predict peak in flowering timing at pollen monitoring stations. The peak flowering timing was strongly correlated with the observed peak airborne pollen at the stations, demonstrating that volunteer-collected phenology observations can support better predictions of the timing and severity of allergy season. 

Learn more »


Call for abstracts: International Congress of Biometeorology

Abstracts are invited for the International Congress of Biometeorology, May 14-17, 2023, hosted by the Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Abstracts due Jan 31, 2023.

Learn more and submit abstract »

Call for papers: Special issue focused on aquatic phenology

Contributions are invited for the special issue “Phenological Changes in Aquatic Ecosystems" in the journal Limnology & Oceanography. Manuscripts are due May 31, 2023.

There is a clear need for applied and theoretical ecological research targeted at understanding phenological changes across multiple levels of biological organizations and types of aquatic habitats. Therefore, we invite contributions that investigate the effects of phenological change on aquatic ecosystems using monitoring, big data, modeling, and empirical approaches.

Learn more »

Opportunity: Graduate ecological informatics course community

NEON operates a priceless continental scale ecological research infrastructure that will serve as the core of the nation’s ecological science and monitoring during the 21st century. However, the core observatory scope and mission does not extend to research and development of derived data products and complementary sensor systems, training pipelines for academics and future NEON staff skilled in the use of the observatory infrastructure, and especially its cyberinfrastructure informatics technologies.

To advance these critical value-added goals and scale up the impact of the observatory, NEON Ambassadors are organizing a working group to offer a graduate-level ccological Informatics Course, along with a Derived Data Products Community comprised of participants in that working group who use those skills to develop derived data products moving forward. An experimental course, INF550, has already been offered at Northern Arizona University for the past two years, and will be the basis for the working group’s effort.

Email Dr. Ben Ruddell to learn more »

Local Phenology Leader Certification Course: spring session and self-paced options

The Local Phenology Leader Certification Course application for the 2023 spring cohort is now open. This course is designed to help you establish a Nature's Notebook citizen science program at your organization or school. It is most appropriate for those interested in developing long-term phenology datasets and long-term engagement programs using Nature's Notebook. This 10-week course is led by USA-NPN Outreach and Education Staff to help you gain the skills needed to develop a program plan, recruit volunteers, collect observations, analyze observation data, and collaborate with community partners. The spring course will begin Feb 17, 2023.

The option to take the course as a self-paced online set of modules will be available later this spring.

Learn more »

Upcoming meetings

European Geophysical Union General Assembly, Apr 23-28, 2023. Vienna, Austria and online.

International Congress of Biometeorology, May 14-17, 2023. Phoenix, AZ.

C*Sci Citizen Science Association conference, May 22-26, 2023. Phoenix, AZ.

Theresa Crimmins
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