Nature’s Notebook

Connecting People with Nature to Benefit Our Changing 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 Activities

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

Title Description
Phenology Walk or Trail Worksheet

This Guide should be used when developing a Walk or Trail at a Group site. It provides a place to document what you will do and is sharable with stakeholders who may be interested in the project. 

Use this Planning Guide with the Phenology Walk and Trail Guide

Nature's Notebook Goal Setting Activity

This worksheet helps you to begin planning a long-term phenology monitoring program using Nature's Notebook in the field. A "program" is a series of activities designed to help you achieve a set of outcomes. You can include ideas for short (1 year or less), medium (1-3 years), or long (3-5 years or more) goals and desired outcomes. 

You may also wish to use this worksheet to help think through a relevant science or management question that your program will help to answer. 

What is the resource you have and need to obtain in order to do the activities you'd like to do? How are you going to share this information with your community and involve as many people in the process to make it sustainable? 

We also offer this planning document in Spanish if you are working with Spanish audiences. 

USA-NPN Education Resource Number: 2017-003-C; 2014-007-CSP

 

Nature's Notebook Program Action Planning Template

If you are a Local Phenology Leader with a monitoring program and want to keep track of the activities and outcomes for your project on an annual or long-term basis, consider using this Action Planning Template to document your tasks and track their progress. 

This template works especially well if you are working with groups of volunteers OR if you are a Phenology Trail Leader trying to manage the work at multiple sites in your community. We suggest hosting regularly scheduled meetings - quarterly or monthly - with selected site leads who are willing and able to record their work for you on this planning guide. That way you can manage the needs and outcomes of everyone involved. For help with implementation of this process email education@usanpn.org

Logic Model Worksheet

Logic Models help you plan and execute a program and provide a framework for evaluating your success. Before you begin a Nature's Notebook Phenology Monitoring Program, consider doing a Needs Assessment to determine if a Nature's Notebook is something that will be useful to you. Once you've completed that process, you can begin to plan your program using one of our Program Planning Worksheets. Finally once your plan is drafted, you can create for yourself measurable goals that can be tracked and shared with all of your stakeholders and funders. 

USA-NPN Education Resource Number: 2017-001-C

Needs Assessment Worksheet

Needs assessments are an important element of developing a site-based long-term phenology monitoring program. Thinking through the reasons you wish to utilize Nature’s Notebook for natural resource management, scientific, or educational purposes will help you to develop something sustainable. Even better would be to identify researchers, land managers, educators, or outreach providers in your community to collaborate on a monitoring program. If you are a researcher or land manager, reach out to educators who can help you recruit and train people to collect the data you need to answer your questions and make better decisions. If you are an educator, find a researcher or land manager who may find data you collect with your participants of value. 

For more information about the process and to share your form with the National Coordinating Staff, visit the Needs Assessment webpage

USA-NPN Education Resource Number: 2017-002-C

Ideas to Engage Your Volunteers

Do you manage a group of volunteers who are regularly collecting Nature's Notebook observations at your Local Phenology Project site? To keep people engaged and interested in monitoring for a period of a year or more, make sure to keep it interesting and provide them with opportunities to get together with each other, share what they are observing, and socialize. This tip sheet includes ideas for keeping your monitoring program fresh and engaging so volunteers will continue to be excited about returning to make their observations. 

USA-NPN Education Resource Number: 2017-001-W

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

USA-NPN Education Resource Number: 2016-001-W

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

USA-NPN Education Resource Number: 2016-002-OC

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 Number: 2016-004-T

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