It feels like each week this summer has brought extreme climate events around the globe and at home. More such events are likely on the way, as a new article in Nature Climate Change explains (or read a summary from Axios).

Here in Tucson, we've had a recent deluge of heavy rain, which is very welcome but a huge contrast with last summer's non-existent monsoon. Your phenology reports are critical for helping understand the impact of these extreme events on plants and animals across the country. Thank you for all of your efforts to document phenological change!
What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
USA-NPN funding update from our Director, Theresa Crimmins
Thank you for your continued support of the USA-NPN. We are 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.
Welcome, Nathan, to the USA-NPN team!
Please join us in welcoming Nathan Acosta, the USA-NPN's new Web Developer! Nathan works to ensure the USA-NPN and Nature's Notebook websites run smoothly and efficiently. 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.

Climate data for 2020 now available
Each year, we pull in climate data from the Oak Ridge National Lab's Daymet to our tools so that you can more easily compare these data to your phenology data. In this month's Local Phenology Leader Community of Practice call, we reviewed how to locate these data in the Visualization Tool and Phenology Observation Portal. Check our the recording to see how you can compare onsets of breaking leaf buds, flowering, and more to climate variables like average spring minimum temperature and accumulated precipitation.

Recent happenings in the field of phenology
Nature's Notebook observations lead to better models of tree leaf-out
Accounting for the fact that species respond differently to the same amount of warmth in different parts of their range presents a challenge for predicting phenological events like leaf-out. The authors of a new study developed a novel approach for incorporating this phenomenon into phenology models. They then incorporated this approach into models of budbreak for 14 widely distributed tree species. This study was only possible due to the large amount of data collected by Nature’s Notebook observers like you across a broad area. Incorporating this information will lead to more accurate, geographically-relevant forecasts for management of these species.

Photo: Ellen G Denny
Earlier bird arrival not linked to changes in size or shape
An article in University of Michigan News highlights findings from a team of researchers studying the impact of climate change on birds. Their study was the first to look at both phenological changes in birds, such as migratory arrival or departure times, as well as morphological changes including body size and wing length. The authors found that phenology changes did not predict morphology changes. Birds may be using other methods rather than body size or wing length to arrive earlier to breeding grounds, including shorter stopovers along their migration route.

Common Yellowthroat, Photo: Tom Grey
Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
Tree Spotters tracking changes
The Tree Spotters started tracking phenology with Nature's Notebook in 2015 to better understand the impact of climate change on plants at the Arnold Arboretum. Under the leadership of volunteer Suzanne Mrozak, the group turned the solitary act of observing phenology into a social endeavor with newsletters, a "Botany Blast" educational seminar series, potlucks, and a book club.

Tree Spotters at the Arnold Arboretum,
Photo: Daniel Schissler
Fostering technology and nature literacy
A new article by Educator Beth Keskey in Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives by Knowles Teacher Initiative, shares how she used Nature's Notebook in a year-long citizen science learning opportunity with her middle school students. She shares how phenology observations encourage both technology literacy and a slowing down to make observations of the natural world.

Nature Nook Book with student drawing, Beth Keskey
Watching wildflowers in Wyoming
In a radio piece by the Four Corner's KSJD, Trevor Bloom of the LPP Wildflower Watch shares how he and volunteers in Wyoming are collecting phenology data to compare to historical records from the 1970s and 80s. The data will allow them to understand how plants are responding to climate change, as well as when to collect seeds that will be used in restoration.

Related resources
A Joshua Tree NP without Joshua Trees?
An article from the Los Angeles Times describes the pressures that climate change puts on desert species including the iconic Joshua tree as well as wildflowers, ocotillos, and more.

Photo: NPS
Hotspots of butterfly increase and decline
You may have heard about the "insect apocalypse", a large scale decline in insect diversity and abundance across the globe. A new article in Global Change Biology finds that the changes are much more nuanced for butterflies in North America, with a mosaic of declines and increases.

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator