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Already this year, over 2,200 observers and 163 Local Phenology Programs have been active in tracking phenology with Nature's Notebook - thank you for your efforts! If you are looking for some new ideas for your Program, we heard some helpful tips and lessons learned from two Local Phenology Programs last week in our Community of Practice Monthly Calls. You can watch the recordings of these calls highlighting Tree Spotters (MA) and McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Phenology Program (AZ). Perhaps you will be inspired by Tree Spotters' great ideas for social activities to get observers together to learn about phenology, natural history, and economic uses of the plants they track. Or maybe you will get some tips on making instructional videos from these species profile videos from McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Phenology Program. 

We will be inviting more Local Phenology Programs to share tips and tricks on future calls, don't miss out! Check out the call schedule and sign up for reminders


What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN

Paid opportunity for teachers

Bring phenology to your classroom this Fall! We are seeking teachers from different grade levels from K through Higher Ed to help revitalize our education program by testing phenology-focused lesson plans with your students. Participating teachers will attend a virtual workshop on July 23rd, carry out a phenology activity with students in August or September, and provide feedback via a second workshop September 24th. Teachers will receive a $500 stipend for their time and feedback. Deadline for applications is June 17th, 2022. 

Learn more and apply »

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2021 Highlights from the Network

2021 was a challenging year, but we also accomplished so much together! Our 2021 Annual Report highlights four examples of how we worked with our partners like you to advance science, inform decisions, communicate and connect, and create an equitable and inclusive network.

Read the Annual Report »

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Partnership with Monarch Joint Venture

We are delighted to announce that the USA-NPN is now an official partner of Monarch Joint Venture. Monarch Joint Venture is an outstanding organization that works with a network of partners with the aim to protect monarchs and their migration. Your observations of Nectar Connectors plants helps to support this mission. If you are observing monarchs and milkweeds, Monarch Joint Venture has additional resources for reporting monarchs and information on how to create monarch habitats.

Learn more »

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Recent happenings in the field of phenology

Flowering timing advancing in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

A Wyoming-based research team recently digitized hand-written records of first flowering date collected in Grand Tetons National Park in the 1970s and 80s and collected observations from the same species in the same locations in recent years. Since the 1970s, flowering has advanced in many of the species sampled. Differential changes in the timing of flowering has the potential to affect pollinators and other important animals in the region.

Learn more »

See all Highlighted Publications »


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Credit: Walter Siegmund via Wikimedia Commons

Can birds keep up with earlier springs?

As spring arrives earlier, how are birds responding? In an article in Audubon Magazine, naturalist and author Scott Weidensaul breaks down the many different ways that birds are shifting (or not shifting) in space and time to keep up with earlier springs.

Read the article »


llustration: Gaby D'Alessandro via Audubon Magazine

The impact of seed disperser decline

As the climate warms, many species adapt by shifting their range to higher elevations or different latitudes. For many plants, their ability to move depends on animals spreading their seeds to new areas. Authors of a new article in Science found that globally, 60% of plants moved by seed dispersers are having trouble keeping up with changes in climate, likely due to declines in their animal seed dispersers. In some areas, even decline of animal populations of a few percent were associated with 95% loss of climate-tracked seed dispersal. 

Read a summary of the article in Smithsonian Magazine »


Photo: Bill Ernst

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders

Tree Spotters is our 2021 PhenoChampion

The 5th Annual PhenoChampion is Tree Spotters! The PhenoChampion award recognizes the outstanding achievements of our Local Phenology Program Partners. Tree Spotters is an exemplary program that shows a dedicated group of volunteers can overcome challenges, maintain a critical long-term dataset, and create excitement in learning about phenology. In last Friday's LPL Monthly Community of Practice call, we heard more from Tree Spotters about how they got started and the amazing social activities they provide including Spotting Together, Focus Tree, and Tree Mob.  

Learn more about Tree Spotters »

Watch the LPL Monthly Call recording »

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Photo: Beth Mahar

Phenology Annual Report inspiration

Earthwise Aware is a Local Phenology Program that, among many other activities, seeks to document phenology of a variety of key plant and animal species in Massachusetts. They recently summarized their phenology efforts in a beautiful StoryMap that includes an in-depth look at the annual cycle of red maple. 

Read the report »


Help test our new Intensity Module

We are nearly finished with a new module for the Observer Certification Course focused on how to answer the intensity questions in Nature's Notebook such as "How many flowers or flower buds do you see?", or "What percentage of the potential canopy space is full of leaves?" We are looking for a few testers to estimate how long the course takes and provide feedback. We would love your help! 

Sign up to be a tester »

Related resources

New funding for conservation projects

The America the Beautiful Initiative is the Biden-Harris administration's conservation goal for the lands, waters, and wildlife that sustain our nation. A new funding opportunity, the America the Beautiful Challenge, is a public-private grant program led by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for locally led ecosystem restoration projects that invest in watershed restoration, resilience, equitable access, workforce development, corridors and connectivity, and collaborative conservation. We are happy to support partners pursuing funding for your phenology efforts by writing letters of support or collaborating on proposals. Let us know how we can help! 

Learn more »


Spring blooms and allergies

Last month, USA-NPN Director Theresa Crimmins joined the Lee Weather team on the Across the Sky podcast to discuss spring allergies and pollen. They discussed what we can learn about climate change from the USA-NPN's spring maps, how things are shifting in regions across the country, and what new resources we are developing here at the USA-NPN.

Listen to the podcast »

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Seeking a post-doc with coding skills

A collaborative research team including USA-NPN, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Cornell University is seeking a post-doc! We are looking for someone with strong R and Python coding skills to assist with refining phenology models and operationalizing short- and longer-term national-scale forecasts.

Apply by June 6th »

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator
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