There is a lot to celebrate this season as your efforts have reached a new milestone: 30,000,000 phenology records collected through Nature's Notebook! These data have been collected by 24,136 observers since 2009, and includes data on 70,221 plants and 22,989 animals at 18,348 sites! 

The 30 millionth record was observed by Nika Gonzaga, a freshman in the Honors Biology program at Desert View High School in Tucson, AZ. She observed young leaves on a desert willow on her campus. When asked about her thoughts on the project, she responded "As a freshman, this is my first time ever gathering research like this. It was enjoyable and a very simple task. I hope to do more research on other plants." 

Her teacher, Cynthia Uber, had this to say about using Nature's Notebook as part of her curriculum: "My students enjoy taking a break from the classroom and going outside to the Phenology Trail we have on our High School Campus. They love using the app as it makes reporting their observations easier and quicker. We are using the data to see how climate change is affecting the species we have on our campus."

This is an incredible achievement that could not have been done without your hard work and dedication to this project. Thank you so much for your efforts, and we look forward to celebrating many more achievements with you in the years to come.


Special Feature: Citizen science through time

Citizen science over 2 centuries helps us understand climate change trends

From 1826-1872, a network of academics collected meteorological and phenological data from hundreds of sites by over 500 observers in the state of New York. These data were well recorded in summary reports, and the effort remained strong until the US Civil War began, when data collection significantly waned. These historical records were re-discovered in 2014 and compared to modern phenology data collected by the New York Phenology Program and NOAA Online weather data.

It is worth noting that both the historical and modern data sets were contributed primarily by non-professionals and follow similarly rigorous observation protocols. This study is such a wonderful reminder that as we go out to our sites each week to observe the plants and animals that we have gotten to know and care for, that the data we collect is a valuable snapshot of our planet in this moment in time, and that it can be used for current and future scientists to help us better understand our ever-changing world. 

Learn more »

Photo: FotoFloridian via Flickr

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

New learning module on intensity

The fifth and final module of the Observer Certification Course is now available! The new module, Intensity Measures, teaches you how to answer questions such as "What percentage of the potential canopy space is full with leaves?" and "How many flowers or flower buds do you see?" Observers who complete all 5 modules will earn a Certified Observer tag in the database as well as a virtual badge and certificate.

A big thank you to Ellen Denny, our Monitoring Design and Data Coordinator, for creating the course! 

Take the module »

Local Phenology Leader Certification Course

Local Phenology Programs are an ideal option for instructors wishing to engage students in tracking phenology as part of a course. Do you need some guidance to get things set up and running? Enroll in our 10-week online Local Phenology Leader Certification Course running this Sept-Nov! Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Samantha Brewer will lead you through program planning activities, show you how to set up your sites, plants/animals in Nature's Notebook, and help you create tools for recruiting and training volunteers. 

Learn more »

Apply now »

How Your Nature's Notebook Data Are Used - Fall 2022 Webinar

Do you ever wonder what happen to your Nature's Notebook phenology data when you hit the Submit button? In this webinar, NPN staff will share recent research that used your data!

Register now »

USA-NPN published in BioScience

A new paper published in BioScience highlights the the breadth of studies and applied decisions that you have collected through Nature's Notebook. While the entire article is limited to those with access to the journal, you may be able to gain access through your local library by clicking "Sign in with a library card."

Read the abstract »

Recent happenings in the field of phenology

Cycling fans find a novel way to document changes in phenology

Researchers in Belgium noticed that trees along the route of the Tour of Flanders, a Belgian bike race held every April, looked bare compared to recent years. They took a closer look at archival race footage from 1981-2016 and were able to quantify timing of leaf-out and flowering of 46 individual trees and shrubs along the bike route. They were able to detect surprisingly strong shifts in the phenology of leaf-out and flowering of trees in the historical video footage over four decades, and demonstrated that applying archived video footage to quantify tree phenology responses to global warming is possible.

Read the article »

Tour of Flanders 2012 Photo: Brendan Ryan via Flickr

Natural history museum collection and citizen science data show advancing phenology of Danish hoverflies

Natural history museum specimens and herbaria can provide valuable historical phenology data. A recent study looked at change in emergence of hoverflies in Denmark by comparing museum specimens that were collected as early as 1900 to data collected by modern citizen scientists. They found that northern temperate hoverflies generally react to warming temperatures by emerging earlier. Additionally, they noted that their most significant results occurred when they had access to long, detailed data series, which illustrated the importance of well-maintained and continuously expanded natural history museum collections, as well as solid citizen science data, particularly in periods of dramatic changes in both climate and biodiversity.

Learn more »

Hoverfly in a garden in Denmark, Photo: Line Sabroe via Flickr

Nature's Notebook Nuggets
Tips on reporting colored leaves this fall

As summer comes to an end, you will begin to observe colored leaves on your plants. When it comes to reporting on colored leaves, any amount of color (regardless of the reason) means a 'yes'. If reporting on intensity, consider the percent of color in the canopy respective to the canopy at 100% potential fullness—and it might take a year to know what this looks like for your plant.  

Learn more »

More ways to get involved

Share your citizen science experience

Dr. Lala Hajibayova at Kent State University School of Information is providing an opportunity to US residents to participate in a voluntary research study about your participation in citizen science projects. 


This study examines how individuals collect and share science project related data, how they communicate with scientist(s), and how they contribute to scientific processes.  This survey is comprised of three parts and will take about 20 minutes to complete.


All participants who completed the survey will be part of a drawing to win $50 Target or Amazon Gift Cards. 

Take the survey »

Symbolic Migration Project

​Participate in the 27th annual Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration with youth from across North America. Families, home schools, nature centers, youth groups, and classrooms are welcome to participate.

Deadline to register: October 7, 2022.

Learn more »


Samantha Brewer

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator



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