We are continually impressed with the ways that our Partners use Nature's Notebook, and the resources you all come up with to engage your participants. Below, we highlight some of the projects we've been hearing about lately that take phenology monitoring to the next level! We also share a tool we've developed to help you learn about specific phenology monitoring efforts in our beloved National Parks

Have a project or resource to share? We'd love to hear about it! The more we share with each other, the more we all benefit. Let's continue to develop our phenology leader Community of Practice




What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
National Park Service web portal now live  

We have just released a new website that describes how units within the National Park Service are collecting and using phenology data and information. This site provides resources for parks that are considering implementing a monitoring program and up-to-date results on phenology research projects that use data collected within National Parks.  You can also explore a map to see which parks are monitoring phenology using Nature's Notebook and other tools.   
Spring maps now available for Alaska 

You can now explore gridded maps of the Spring Indices and Accumulated Growing Degree Days for Alaska through the USA-NPN Visualization Tool. Spring arrived in coastal areas of the southern part of Alaska in April, and is moving north across the state. 
Recent happenings in the field of phenology
Photo: John Morgan via Wikimedia Commons
Oak phenology tells a unique story

While many studies have investigated the relationship between climatic drivers and phenology of plants in temperate areas, few studies have explored these drivers in water-limited ecosystems.  Authors from the USA National Phenology Network and the University of California Santa Barbara used observations from Nature's Notebook to examine how the phenology of two western North American oak species and two eastern and central North American oak species respond to variation in temperature, precipitation, latitude, longitude and elevation. 
The way that species respond to certain climatic drivers, such as winter 
precipitation or spring minimum temperatures, can be used to  predict 
how  these species will be impacted by climate change.

Songbirds can't keep up with shifting spring
Elecia Crumpton,
University of Florida

A new study in the journal  Scientific Reports reveals certain migratory songbirds are unable to keep up with the shifting start of spring. The authors used satellite imagery to track the start of spring green-up, which provides food for caterpillars and other insects. These insects are important food sources for birds during their journey and as they arrive at their summer breeding grounds. 

The authors found that of 48 species studied, 9 displayed a mismatch between spring green-up and their arrival date. The gap between green-up and arrival increased by over half a day per year. Mismatch between a bird and the peak in its food source can impact survival of adults and young, with cascading effects across generations. 
More ways to get involved
Congratulations to Susan Mazer!

If you are involved in phenology in California, you certainly know the name of Dr. Susan Mazer, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the UC Santa Barbara and Phenology Network Coordinator for the California Phenology Project. Susan was recently awarded the prestigious Honorable John C. Pritzlaff Conservation Award to honor her life-long commitment to conservation. Well done Susan, and well deserved!

How phenology informs public health

Phenology is integral to determining whether crop pollinators are becoming mismatched with their host plants, predicting the start and severity of mosquito and tick season, and understanding how allergy season is changing. Radio broadcast Wake, produced by Talk Media News, recently featured an episode called Climate Shocks: Ecology & Health. USA-NPN Executive Director Jake Weltzin joined the 
broadcast to talk about the role USA-NPN is playing  to document 
phenology that can be used to inform public health issues.  

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
Photo: Gerald Berliner
Mohonk: A powerhouse of citizen science

Mohonk Preserve in New York has a long history of recording phenology information. Members of the family who founded the preserve started documenting information about plant and animal life cycle events in the late 19th century.  Today, Mohonk Preserve is part of the New York Phenology Project , a Regional Phenology Network of the USA-NPN. Mohonk has developed a great suite of resources to help their volunteers use  Nature's Notebook , including species fact sheets, checklists, maps,  and more. 
Learn more » 
Photo: Jean Linsner
Bringing phenology to the community

The 606 of Chicago brings much-needed green space to Chicago's Logan Square by turning an old elevated railway into a city park. Phenology is a vital part of community engagement efforts, and involves local community members in recording observations along the walkway. A recent Walk with Blossoms event introduced the community to the gardens with a series of signs in English and Spanish to educate visitors about the phenology effort. 
Phenology insprires beautiful artwork

The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, just outside of the Twin Cities, is coming up with some great ideas to engage students in phenology! The Refuge recently hosted a phenology art contest, and invited high school students to submit artwork depicting what phenology means to them. 

The example at right, by high school student Jake Seres, incorporates the themes of life cycles, natural history, and the importance of recording dates. This poster and others will be displayed in the Refuge visitor center to encourage visitors to learn about phenology. 


Erin Posthumus 
Outreach Coordinator
 LoriAnne head shot
LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator