Timing is everything! Using experimental gardens and citizen science to investigate phenology at Warren Wilson College
by Dr. Alisa Hove
Phenology, or the timing of seasonal events in nature, has wide ranging effects on life on Earth. We all have an intuitive sense of phenology (e.g., wildflower blooms, fall leaf colors, seasonal bird migrations) and its importance in nature. In the spring, many plants time their flowering to maximize interactions with pollinators. Likewise, many bird species time their migration to coincide with the availability of nest sites and food sources. Because phenological life stages are strongly influenced by climate, studies of phenology can provide valuable information regarding the effects of climate change on the Earth’s biological systems. Warren Wilson College Biology Professor Alisa Hove’s talk will discuss the role of phenological research in larger efforts to understand climate change, phenology research based on the WWC campus, and how citizen scientists are contributing to phenological data collection through the USA National Phenology Network’s Nature’s Notebook program.