Happy Autumn! Fall is in the air, even here in the Desert Southwest where at least the mornings have finally turned cool. Are you seeing signs of fall yet in the species you track? Nature's Notebook observers in the Northeast are reporting colored leaves in maples, oaks, and poplars.
You can view this Activity Curve in our Visualization Tool and view other data by changing the location, years, species, phenophases, and metric plotted. Or choose a different type of visualization to create - we also have phenology calendars, scatterplots, and maps.

Happy Autumn observing!
What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
New Certification Course Module added
We've added a brand new Module to the Observer Certification Course: The Plant and Animal Phenophases. This module provides information to help you understand plant life cycles and identify the plant phenophases in Nature's Notebook. You will learn about plant leafing, flowering, and fruiting. You will also learn the basics needed to observe animals. Quizzes at the end of each lesson will help test your skills.

New pollinator restoration project
Do you work on pollinator restoration in the South Central Region? We are launching a new project with collaborators in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana called Time to Restore: Connecting People, Plants, and Pollinators aimed at providing enhanced guidance to aid selection of nectar plants. Our online Kickoff Workshop on October 12th from 12 - 2 pm CT will provide an overview of the project as well as address current knowledge of nectar plant phenology and considerations for building successful partnerships with Tribes. Funding for this work is provided by the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center.

Lessons from 10 years of NPS phenology
A new article from National Park Service collaborators and USA-NPN's Alyssa Rosemartin takes a look at the last 10 years of phenology monitoring in the National Parks. The authors describe how thirty-six Parks have used Nature's Notebook to document changes in timing for a variety of species from deciduous trees to wildflowers. The authors also provide recommendations for program planning, volunteer retention, and highlight the importance of working across organizational and disciplinary boundaries.

Photo: NPS
Recent happenings in the field of phenology
Nature's Notebook data key to interpreting remotely-sensed data
Xin et al. (2020) evaluated eight approaches to identifying the start (SOS) and end (EOS) of the growing season in MODIS imagery. The authors validated SOS and EOS estimates with phenology observations contributed to Nature’s Notebook. SOS and EOS estimates varied by as much as 50 days among approaches and recommend using an ensemble of multiple estimates to characterize phenometrics like SOS and EOS. This effort underscores the value of ground-based observations of phenology in interpreting imagery collected by remote instrument.

Photo: Martin LaBar
Minnesota drought leads to dull fall color
Historic drought across the northern half of Minnesota has lead to dull fall leaf color this year in maples, poplars, aspens, and birches. An article from Minnesota's Star Tribune explains trees may drop their leaves early to reduce water loss, or may show a short burst of color before leaf fall.

Photo: Ellen G Denny
Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
Funding opportunities for your program
We've been sharing lots of small grant opportunities lately in the Nature's Notebook Community Forum. Opportunities include $1000 from AGU Sharing Science for outreach and engagement, funding for transportation to get kids outdoors, and location-specific grants like this environmental grant in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. We are happy to help you in any way we can, reach out for help with your application or to request a letter of support!

Engaging undergraduates in research
Salisbury University recently established a Local Phenology Program to offer a course-based undergraduate research experience for students. Students in Kim Quillin's Introduction to Biology course will track phenology of 120 individuals of nine trees and shrubs over the academic year. The project also aims to provide students with a sense of belonging and agency both on campus and in the biology community.

Map of trees at Salisbury University
Pacific NW Citizen Science Summit
The Pacific Northwest Citizen Science Summit is a great chance to share your Local Phenology Program! Sessions will include strategies for recruitment and diversifying your audience, data standards, defining program outcomes, and case studies of successful collaborations. Abstracts are due Friday, October 1st.

Related resources
What does the latest IPCC report tell us?
The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released the first part of their sixth assessment on climate. The UK-based website Carbon Brief breaks down the most important findings of the report with a In-Depth Q&A.

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator