USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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Ecological Society of America - 2016 Life Discovery Conference

Looking for ways to integrate life, earth, and space sciences with simple outdoor activities and technology? Phenology observation through the Nature’s Notebook professional and citizen science program is the answer!

This hands-on workshop demonstrates how easy it is to implement an NGSS-aligned, long-term phenology monitoring program in the classroom. Phenology, or the study of recurring life cycle events in plants and animals and their relationship to the environment, is a fabulous way to visually demonstrate potential impacts of a changing climate on familiar species. By making repeated, detailed observations in nature, students experience the impact of seasonal change (weather) on plants and animals and learn the scientific method.  Predictions and hypotheses can be made based upon what they observe, related to long term impacts on sensitive environments.

In this workshop you will learn about the history behind keeping phenological records through time, and how records kept by our favorite naturalists and scientists from 100-200+ years ago provide clues to how our environment may be changing. While the process of recording observations in nature is not revolutionary, modern technology allows us to easily track such observations with the use of a national database and mobile applications, appealing to students of all ages.  Your class’ observations submitted to Nature’s Notebook help scientists and land managers make real-world, research-based decisions.

Your students can be part of the process designed to help us understand how our planet’s species are responding to change, a current concerning topic. Nature’s Notebook can help you connect to other educators in your community, connect your classroom to others, provide opportunities to interface with scientists, and help you visualize and analyze data you’ve entered with your students. After this workshop you will have the skills you need to participate in your own technologically savvy monitoring program in the classroom. 

Workshop Details