Issue: Spring 2018

Focal bird species observed (colored lines) or not detected (gray lines) at J.N Ding Darling NWR

Phenology observers have been very busy at National Wildlife Refuges this spring. We have 35 observers submitting data at 12 refuges so far this year, with an additional 32 nearby sites where data are collected by refuge partners to support refuge decision making. These observers have collectively recorded over 150,000 observation records on 129 species so far this year.

At one of our new partner refuges, J.N. Ding Darling, many birds have migrated north for the summer months. Dedicated observers are tracking the birds that remain, including the osprey that are nesting on the Refuge. 

Below, we share some new reports and resources developed by refuges and the USA-NPN that will support your phenology efforts. 

Happy Observing!



USFWS Liaison
Education Coordinator
Phenology on the Refuges
Nature's Notebook workshop at SELA Refuges Complex 
Photo: Becky Larkins
A year of data collection on the Gulf Coast PT
The Gulf Coast Phenology Trail is a collaboration between six National Wildlife Refuges, a National Estuarine Research Reserve, National Historic Park and Preserve, and other partners to better understand phenology along the Gulf Coast. Their 2017 Annual Report details the history of the Trail, their research questions and outreach goals,  preliminary findings  and some interesting discoveries. 
New Refuge Phenology Dashboards 
Several of our refuge partners are setting up informative phenlogy dashboards on the USFWS Phenology Network website to describe their projects and display the results of their data collection. These dashboards are available to any refuge that uses Nature's Notebook for phenology data collection. Click on the Refuges below to see what they are finding! 

Photo: Becky Larkins
How Refuges are using Nature's Notebook
Our 2017 Local Phenology Project survey results shine light on how refuges are using phenology monitoring to meet their management and outreach objectives:  
  • The most common annual achievements described were (1) understanding the timing of important phenological events such as when to treat invasives, (2) training new observers, and (3) engaging the public in learning about refuge phenology
  • The ways that refuges are informing their decisions with phenology data included (1) increasing the efficacy of control treatments of a high priority invasive species, (2) informing monitoring of flowering of focal species, (3) knowing when to clean out nest boxes for migrating birds
  • The number of observers collecting data at individual refuges ranged from 1-50, with an average of 11-30
  • Over half of respondents engage student observers in K-12 or higher ed
  • Over half of respondents have used the USA-NPN visualization tools
Resources for our Refuge Partners
Support pollinators with Nectar Connectors 

Pollinator Week is next week, June 18-24th. You can support pollinators by participating in the Nature's Notebook campaign Nectar Connectors! This campaign focuses on 53 species of nectar plants in 16 genera that are important nectar sources for monarchs and other pollinators. Observers track the flowering of these plants across the country. 

Compliance with federal policy 

Did you know that the USA-NPN's data collection protocols and data products and tools are in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and Privacy Act? We are also working to make sure that our mobile app and information and systems security complies with all federal regulations. 

What's New at USA-NPN
USA-NPN observational data report
A USGS Open File Report that documents the USA-NPN observational data is now published and available for  download. This report details the four data types available from the  Phenology Observation Portal and via web services. You can also learn more in this report about the measures taken to ensure high  data qualit yin these data types.    

USA-NPN 2017 Annual Report

Learn about all that we accomplished together last year. Special highlights include how   Nature's Notebook  data were used  in Midway Atoll NWR's battle with invasives and  in a study of mistletoe phenology, and the ways the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is engaging volunteers to learn about phenology of local plants and animals.

Want a hard copy? Email [email protected] with your mailing address and we will send one to you.

Download the report »
Pheno Forecasts predict pest activity

Our new  Pheno Forecast maps show when management actions should be taken for five pest species. These maps are updated daily and are available 6 days in the future.  Do you have a suggestion for another species for which a forecast would help you make decisions? We'd love to hear about it !

Learn more »
Celebrating 10 years of the USA-NPN

This year marks the 10th year of the USA National Phenology Network and data collection with Nature's Notebook. We are celebrating all year long with highlights of various aspects of our 10-year history. 

It also means we have 10 years worth of data to explore on species of interest to your Refuge. 

Learn more »
Upcoming Events
Local Phenology Leader summer course

We have a new opportunity for you to get acquainted with all of our resources for creating a phenology program. We are offering a 3-week summer course for Local Phenology Leaders to learn where to find information on our website, how to create a phenlogy program plan, how to visualize data, and how to connect with other Leaders in our Community of Practice.  The registration deadline is June 22nd. There are just a few spaces left! 

We also offer a more intensive 10-week  Certification Course for Local Phenology Leaders  in the fall and spring. 

Register » 
Ecological Society of America Meeting

This year's Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting will include a field trip on August 5th to one of our Gulf Coast Phenology Trail sites, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park's Barataria Preserve. The field trip will highlight various education and outreach activities that local ecologists can use to engage with people at Parks and other public places. The field trip will include information about phenology monitoring efforts using Nature's Notebook at Jean Lafitte and nearby Refuges such as Bayou Sauvage and Big Branch.  

Learn more » 
Stay Connected
Erin Posthumus
US Fish & Wildlife Service Liaison and Outreach Coordinator
LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator
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