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
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. Use one of these logic model templates to document what you'd like to achieve. We've included a tabular model and a linear model. Both contain the same elements but the tabluar model is for those who prefer to work with visual representations and the linear model is for those who work better with outlines in text.

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 for your Local Phenology Program? 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

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 Resource 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.

View other examples of activities and lessons for higher education on our Higher Education Landing Page.

Interested in learning about how to set up your monitoring program to meet your course needs? Visit our Start a Local Programpage for more information. 

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.

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