Issue: Summer 2020

With the rapid pace of things happening these days, it's easy to miss the sometimes subtle change from one season to the next. While we are glad to have that unusual summer behind us, we were grateful for the chance to connect with many natural resource managers at the virtual meetings of the Association and Fish and Wildlife Agencies and The Wildlife Society over the past few weeks. It was inspiring to hear from wildlife managers and others working in the field of natural resources about the many applications they see for phenology in their work, from informing the timing of activities that impact nesting birds to using long-term projections of spring onset for climate adaptation planning. We look forward to new partnerships and projects in these areas over the coming year.

Wishing you a (slightly belated) Happy Autumn!
Phenology on the Refuges
A decade of phenology at Rachel Carson NWR
Observers at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine have been recording phenology data in Nature's Notebook for nearly a decade! You can explore their rich data set which includes native trees, shrubs and forbs like red maple, paper birch, common snowberry, hobblebush, and highbush blueberry. The Activity Curve below shows how reports of ripe fruits in highbush blueberry compared between the Refuge (blue) and other Nature's Notebook locations within 50 miles (orange) in 2019.

Working together to protect bats
A multi-organization effort including the USA-NPN, USFWS, AZ Game & Fish, BLM, US Forest Service, NPS, and Audubon Society seeks to understand lesser long-nosed bat phenology, feeding patterns, and distribution across southeastern Arizona. This project leverages the power of volunteer scientists who collect information about nectar plant phenology and track bat visits to hummingbird feeders in urban areas.

Resources for our Refuge Partners
Phenology informs habitat change
At The Wildlife Society 2020 Annual Conference, Outreach Coordinator and Liaison to the USFWS Erin Posthumus presented three case studies that demonstrate the myriad applications of phenological information to understand habitat change and enhance decision making.

Give input on your phenology needs
At the recent annual meeting of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, we facilitated a workshop on Phenology Tools for Climate Adaptation Planning. Our goal was to learn more about phenology data and tools that can help natural resource managers use phenology to inform their management plans for the future. We'd love your input as well!

ARSET phenology data training
The NASA Applied Remote Sensing Training program (ARSET) has recently created a three-part Introductory webinar series entitled "Understanding Phenology with Remote Sensing". These training videos provide an introduction to using satellite imagery for mapping vegetation health and seasonal patterns. This is a great opportunity to learn more about data from the USA-NPN, Phenocam, satellite imagery, and more.

What's new at USA-NPN
Over 23 million phenology records
Our diligent Nature's Notebook observers recently pushed us over the milestone of 23 million phenology records submitted to the National Phenology Database! These data on plant and animal seasonal activity are freely available for visualization. You can also download customized datasets for locations and species of interest.

How Nature's Notebook data are used
The rich dataset collected by Nature's Notebook observers is used by scientists, natural resource managers, and the public. Read summarizes of some of research that has used these data, or see the full list of peer-reviewed publications.

Upcoming Events
Indigenous speaker series
We've seen a lot of interest recently in indigenous approaches to ecology and phenology, including the Indigenous and Western Approaches to Phenology NCTC series that we co-organized with the Indigenous Phenology Network this spring and the Indigenous Phenology and other Indigenous-focused sessions at the Ecological Society of America meeting this year.

If you'd like to learn and connect further in this area, two great options are the NWIC and UW Indigenous Speaker series and Rising Voices. You are also invited to join a webinar series entitled "Empowering Tribal Culture, Ecology, and Food Systems" that will take place from September 30th to October 28th. This series supports Indigenous communities’ efforts to restore their land, reduce food insecurity, and increase economic opportunity through the production of native plants.

Stay Connected
Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator and USFWS Liaison

LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator