Earlier this month, several of our staff had the chance to attend a local conference in Tucson centered around the biologically rich "sky islands" of southeastern Arizona. Though the conference focused on what is a small piece of the United States and Mexico, it represented an immensely diverse set of topical areas, from watershed management to endangered amphibian ecology to better ways to work with collaborators across political borders. 

It was inspiring to see how phenology is relevant to so many different areas of research. In the Southwest alone, phenology is being used to understand shrub and grass seasonality, figure out the most effective time to treat invasive species, and better understand shifts in nectar sources for bats and butterflies. The work you do to understand the phenology of plants and animals is intricately woven into ecosystem processes and landscape level cycles, spanning from leaf to globe.    



What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
The 2017 USA-NPN Annual Report is here          

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

Want a hard copy? Email erin@usanpn.org with your mailing address and we will send one to you. 
Follow @USANPN on Twitter!  

We have a new Twitter account, @USANPN. Follow us to stay up to date on news, resources, and upcoming events. 
Celebrating 10 years of USA-NPN and NN         

This month we highlight the staff of the National Coordinating Office of the USA-NPN. Since the USA-NPN was established ten years ago, the NCO staff have worked to create phenology monitoring protocols, the Nature's Notebook phenology observation program, summarized data and data products, and a community for learning and sharing about phenology. The staff, most of whom have been with the NCO since the beginning of the USA-NPN, work closely with hundreds of partners and thousands of observers across the country to achieve the goals of collecting and sharing phenology data and information. 
Recent happenings in the field of phenology
Photo: Juneau Empire
Seed dispersing bears influence plant community composition

In a new study, researchers at Oregon State University sought to quantify the role bears in Alaska play in dispersing seeds. The authors estimated that brown and black bears disperse over 200,000 seeds per hour per square km while foraging for fleshy fruits and then excreting them on the landscape. Brown bears disperse more seeds than black bears overall, and at different times of the year. Because bears disperse a large percentage of the seeds of fleshy-fruit bearing species, they have a great influence on the species composition of plants in their ecosystems. If populations of bears are reduced, the number of fleshy-fruited shrubs may also decline and be replaced by wind-dispersed plants.

PhenoR modelling framework

A recent paper in  Methods in Ecology and Evolution  presents a modelling framework that uses the R language and environment to analyze phenology measurements from the PhenoCam network, USA-NPN observations, PEP725 European observations, and MODIS data. The purpose of this framework is to facilitate investigations to  understand relationships between phenology and climate. Hufkens et 
al.  include example analyses comparing 20 spring phenology models. 
More ways to get involved
NPS Partnerships for Community Conservation

The National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program is now taking applications for community partnerships. Projects should provide outdoor opportunities, conserve natural areas, engage youth stewardship, and strengthen organizational capacity. 

While this is not a monetary grant, assistance is provided in many forms, from help with inventory and mapping to development of outreach and funding strategies. Deadline is June 30. 

Learn more » 
New book about the value of observations

Ground Truth, a new book by Mark Hineline, is a guide to slowing down and paying attention to the natural world. The book communicates the value of observations to understanding the connections between climate and phenology. By gathering facts about your environment every day, you can better understand the rhythms of the world around you. 

USA-NPN's Assistant Director Theresa Crimmins says, "This is a lovely and inspiring read! Definitely worth it!"

Learn more »
Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
Hank Verbais, Certified LPL for Tohono Chul
LPP Highlight: Tohono Chul

Each newsletter this year, we will highlight one of our wonderful Local Phenology Programs. Do you want your LPP to be featured? Email  erin@usanpn.org ! This month we highlight Tohono Chul.

Tohono Chul is a botanical garden, nature preserve and cultural museum in northwest Tucson, AZ. Phenology observers here are certified as both Local Phenology Leaders and Master Naturalists. They have collected over 15,000 observations since 2016. Projects include a saguaro growth and phenology study, observations of butterflies, and contributions to the Flowers for Bats campaign. All projects focus on community education to promote awareness and stewardship of Sonoran desert ecology. 
Photo: Jody Einerson
Retreats thank and inspire your volunteers

Are you looking for a way to thank your volunteers for their efforts and create a better sense of place among your group? Consider a retreat! Local Phenology Leader Jody Einerson is organizing a summer retreat for her Oregon Season Tracker volunteers.  The 2-day retreat is offered at no cost to volunteers and will include plant phenology observations, bird surveys, stream ecology, aquatic insect phenology, and the challenges of predicting weather in complex mountain environments. 

It's not too late to create a 2017 Annual Report

Have you had a chance to take a look at the data collected by your Local Phenology Program last year? Be inspired by this great Annual Report from the Gulf Coast Phenology Trail that covers the history of the Trail, the partners involved, phenology and climate data summaries, interesting discoveries, and lessons learned. 

Join us for monthly LPL calls    

On the third Friday of every month at 10 am PDT, Education Coordinator LoriAnne Barnett holds calls for Local Phenology Leaders to share ideas and resources.  Calls focus on topics of interest such as program planning, volunteer engagement, advanced training resources, and more! 


Erin Posthumus 
Outreach Coordinator
 LoriAnne head shot
LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator