USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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The USA-NPN, phenology, and our partners are often in the news. Follow some recent stories below.

Image credit:
Sara N. Schaffer


    Monday, August 13, 2018

    Walking with Wildflowers, a Local Phenology Program of the USA-NPN is leveraging citizen scientists to collect data along the Pacific Crest Trail. This AAAS blog post by collaborator Nic Kooyers describes how the researchers behind this effort are working with local hikers to understand which high-elevation species may be vulnerable to shifting climatic conditions.

  • In loving memory of our dear friend and colleague Patty Guertin
    Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Patty Guertin

    It is with heavy hearts that we tell you of a great loss to the USA National Phenology Network. In May 2018 we lost Patty Guertin, our staff botanist who had been with us since the start of the USA-NPN. Taken from the world by cancer far too soon, she is sorely missed by her family, friends, and the coworkers who consider her family. 

    Patty saw the beauty in every environment she visited and called home, from the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest to the ever-changing Sonoran Desert. In addition to an exceptional eye for detail, Patty possessed genuine wonderment at the natural world and a deep knowledge of its plants and animals. 

    Patty loved to paint and had an eye for capturing the vibrant red of a desert flower and the softly illuminated spines of a cactus at sunset. 

    Patty was caring, humble, generous, and a devoted member of the USA-NPN team. She kept meticulous, detailed records to categorize and describe each species added to the Nature's Notebook system, and created the content for the Botany PrimerPhenophase Primer, and Nature's Notebook Nuggets. She always made time to write a carefully detailed response to an observer question or a help a fellow staff member puzzle out a species identification. 

    We will remember Patty as she lived, in a beautiful, quiet spot of nature with a paintbrush in her hand and love in her heart for the people and places surrounding her. In the staff here and among you, our partners and observers, we will carry on her legacy in the careful and loving study of our local plants and places.

    The Staff of the USA-NPN National Coordinating Office

    Ferocactus emoryi By Patty Guertin

    Ferocactus emoryi (Emory barrel cactus) in my front yard, by Patty Guertin 

    Patty is survived by her mother (Claire Pratt, Groton CT), husband (Phil Guertin, Tucson AZ), daughters (Elizabeth Guertin, Columbia, MD and Allyson Solar, Portland OR), sister (Peggy Grass, Rumney, NH), brother (Bill Pratt, Groton, CT), uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and many wonderful friends. 

    In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona ( would be appreciated.

    Patty Guertin Memorial flyer

    Here is a map of the area, if you are driving, please park in Summerhaven and walk to the property or park along East Carter Canyon Road.



    Tuesday, March 20, 2018

    In most of the last ten years, the First Leaf Index has arrived days to weeks earlier than calendar spring in the Washington, DC area. This year, spring leaf out arrived 25 days earlier than the Spring Equinox in Washington, DC.

    Comparison of Spring Equinox and USA-NPN's First Leaf Index for Washington DC

  • Pheno Forecast maps inform treatment timing for key pests
    Thursday, March 1, 2018

    Our new Pheno Forecast maps show when management actions should be taken for five pest species including emerald ash borer, apple maggot, lilac borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and winter moth. These maps are updated daily and are available 6 days in the future. Sign up to receive notifications.

    Friday, February 2, 2018

    Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter. We agree - if we're talking about the eastern US. The southeast especially has been cool so far this year.  In the west, we are already seeing signs of early spring from trout to snowberries. A new forecast by collaborator Toby Ault also calls for a early spring in the west, late in the east. 

    Nature's Notebook observations vs Groundhog