USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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Educators around the country are developing materials to use with Nature's Notebook.

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Brian Powell

Nature's Notebook Curriculum & Activities

Explore Nature's Notebook materials created by the National Coordinating Office Staff and partners.

Title Description
Short Introductory Slide Decks

This series of introductory slide decks can be edited for your use in Nature's Notebook workshops or other presentations. 

Voice-over videos of the slide decks can be found here

Basic Botany & Intensity Quizzes

This is an interactive, online series of quizzes designed to help you better identify phenophases and understand the intensity protocols contained within Nature's Notebook

2016 UArizona Insect Festival Tabling Materials

This activity was set up on two 6 foot tables. We utilized four stereo microscopes (dissecting microscopes; a 10x and a 30x lens on a turret) across one table. On each microscope we displayed a life cycle stage of the giant swallowtail butterfly (Papilio cresphontes): a few eggs on a citrus leaf, a live caterpillar in a petri dish with a leaf, an empty chrysalis, and a pinned adult butterfly. We also included a butterfly habitat with several live adult butterflies - a swallowtail and a few queen butterflies, and a milkweed in bloom for a nectar resource. Additionally, we had samples of citrus plants and a variety of P. cresphontes instars available for display. 

The worksheet for the microscope was designed for students to record what they observed through the scope, either by drawing it or circling the life cycle stage that they viewed. 

The second datasheet was for older students who were interested in reading the caterpillar phenophase definitions and circling the details exhibited by the captive caterpillars. 

We also provided information about Nature's Notebook, the local Tucson Phenology Trail and sites, displayed information for teachers, including curriculum materials, and had a sign up sheet for more information. 

The event was from 11 am until 4 pm. There were about 250 youth who visited our table with their parents. The average age for the visitors was 3-5 years of age, although there were elementary age youth as well (grades 1-4). To a lesser degree there were middle school age youth (grades 5-6).  

 

How to use the Observation Deck's Phenology Calendars

Learn how to customize your own Phenology Calendars that appear on your Observation Deck. These calanders visually represent data you have collected and allow you to compare up to three species' phenophases at a time. They can be saved as a file, or set to automatically load each time you come to your Observation Deck.

USA-NPN Education Resource:2016-004-T

Guiding tips for setting up an outdoor Nature's Notebook site

This tip sheet can be referenced when setting up a new Nature's Notebook observation site in the outdoors. The content is from the monitoring guidelines established by the USA-NPN, and can also be found on the Our Reports Page in the How to Observe Handbook (EE-2013-001) Resource. The content begins on page 7, Section 2a. Choose a Site through page 14, Section 2b. Choose Plant and Animal Species

USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2014-006a-C; 2014-006a-CSP - Spanish

Sample Nature's Notebook Higher Education Semester-Long Program

These are examples of Nature's Notebook semester-long program implementation plans for 3 different university level courses, in different departments, with different outcomes. Each engages students in making observations using Nature's Notebook for 4-8 weeks during the semester.

These resources were shared courtesy of Dennis Rosemartin, Assistant Professor, Department of Childhood Education and Care, Salem State University; Lisa Parce, Lecturer/Curriculum Specialist, Department of Agriculture Education, University of Arizona; and Rachel Gallery, Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona. Questions can be directed to the USA-NPN Education Coordinator, education@usanpn.org.

Nature's Notebook Mobile Application Tip Sheets

Have you wanted to continue your observations with Nature's Notebook and would like to do so from the field on your mobile device such as you phone or tablet? Whether you are an current observer or new to our program, we have deleveopled mobile application tip sheets to help walk you through the process of mobile observing.  We have documents for both the Apple and Droid platforms, and these will take you step-by-step through the process of submitting observations directly from your mobile device.

Phenology Activity Book for Children

This activity book is designed for youth ages 4-12.  It includes a variety of activites related to the study of phenology, or life cycle events of plants and animals, which can be used on their own or together. An answer key is provided as a seperate file.

Volunteer Training Course Phenology Notes Worksheet

Use this annotated agenda with the sample training course PowerPoint and materials developed for one 6-hour workshop or two separate 3-hour workshops.  We have found it easier to break up introductory materials from navigating Nature’s Notebook and practicing observations in the field.  Visit our Host a Nature's Notebook Workshop page for more details and editable materials. 

Simple phenophase definitons and datasheets for use when NOT entering data in Nature's Notebook

Are you an educator seeking to work with younger audiences who may not be able to use our standard suite of phenophases and their full definitions? Maybe you'd like to develop interpretive signs at your park and just want to describe briefly the phases which can be observed if participating in Nature's Notebook

These simple phenophase defintions and datasheets can be used for educational activities to help beginner participants understand the phenophases for each species in Nature's Notebook.  

These are NOT meant to be substituted for our standard phenophase definition sheets and field datasheets for the collection of observations. The full phenophase definitions were designed to standardize the way data are collected by observers participating in our nation-wide program. Changing the wording and content leaves too much room for different interpretations of what is meant to be observed when participating in Nature's Notebook, thus compromising the consistency and quality of the data in our database. Researchers who use the data want to be confident that information collected in Maine or Florida or Oregon is as similar as possible, and the only way to make that happen is to ensure everyone is starting from the same place in terms of the phenophase definitions. For more information about how and why the standardized phenophases in Nature's Notebook were developed, please read our reports in the USA-NPN Technical Series entitled, "USA-NPN Phenology Protocols" and the "Plant and Animal Phenophase Definitions."

Thus, if you are using paper datasheets in the field and fully participating in Nature's Notebook, please refer to the datasheets and phenophase definition sheets linked from the profile page of each species in our searchable Plants and Animals Species List.

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