We're nearing the end of a summer that has been hotter than average, particularly in the Southern Great Plains, Southwest, and mid-Atlantic.  This fall is forecasted to have above-normal temperatures across most of the country, with above-average precipitation in southern states and below-average precipitation in the Northwest (NOAA). How will the plants that you track in Nature's Notebook respond? 

If you have been tracking plants and animals for mulitple years, I invite you to explore how your records from this year compare to last, either on your Observation Deck phenology calendar or on the Phenology Visualization Tool

Happy observing! 

What your data are telling us
Click to enlarge
Your reports are producing high-quality data

USA-NPN researcher Kathy Gerst is comparing the Spring Index models of spring leaf out and bloom (based on early season plants including lilacs and honeysuckles) to observed leaf out and flowering dates of native trees and shrubs. To do this, she took a close look at your data from the Green wave, Shady Invaders, and Cloned and Flowering Dogwood campaigns. 

The map at right shows the sites producing high-quality data that were included in the analysis. The size of the icon represents the number of years of data reported for each site. 
Phenology maps support decision-making

A new article in the  Journal of Extension  describes how the USA-NPN's maps of accumulated growing degree days can be used to support management decisions.
What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
We want to highlight you at our 10-year event!

This October, the USA-NPN will host a special event to reflect on the past 10 years and envision the next 10. Since we can't have every one of our wonderful observers at the event in person, we would love to highlight you from afar! 

If you would like to be featured, please send us a photo of yourself or of one of your favorite things you monitor, and a short quote that describes why you enjoy Nature's Notebook. With your permission, we will display these during our 10-year event.

We will also be live streaming portions of our 10-year event. Keep an eye out for more information in our next newsletter. 

The Plants and Animals page has a new look

If you've visited our  Plants and Animals search page  recently, you might notice a difference. We've recently made some improvements to make it easier to search for plants and animals on the  Nature's Notebook  list by state, animal group and plant group. You can even search for species that are part of  Nature's Notebook campaigns .

See the page »
Recent happenings in the field
Changes in climate mean changes for wildlife 

Scientists at the National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers are working to understand the impacts of changes in climate on fish and wildlife. Learn about how animals are losing habitat, facing tougher competition for survival, and more.  

Learn more »
Photo: Will Thompson, USGS
Climate change brings a mixed bag for wildlife

When it comes to climate change, wildlife are often characterized as winners or losers. But new evidence suggests that the impacts of changes on wildlife are much more nuanced. Some species, such as the pika pictured at right, are moving into new areas, changing their behaviors, and evolving in new ways. 

Warmer temps means plants more vulnerable

A new study in Nature revealed that warming temperatures make plants more susceptible to late-season frosts. The authors also found that day length, which is thought to influence seasonal activity in temperate trees, did not serve as a check on response of trees to rising temperatures. This means that trees may continue to shift to earlier and earlier activity, lengthening the growing season. 

Nature's Notebook Nuggets
Get ready for fall color on your plants!

When it comes to reporting on colored leaves, any amount of color (regardless of the reason) means a 'yes'. If reporting on intensity, consider the percent of color in the canopy respective to the canopy at 100% potential fullness. Remember - it might take a year to know what this looks like for your plant. 

More ways to get involved
Participation in Citizen Science is growing

New technology and phone apps have simplified the task of collecting data and opened up a new world to the general public. This article from the Christian Science Monitor describes how citizen scientists are taking action to make a difference where they live. Participants say their motivation is to "give back, learn new things, and meet like-minded people."

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator