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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.

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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

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 Program page for more information. 

Nature's Notebook Mobile Application Tip Sheet

The Nature's Notebook Mobile App Module in our Observer certification course goes over the use of our mobile application for setting up your Nature's Notebook account and submitting observations from your mobile device. This module should take 20-30 to minutes to complete. This is the second module in a series of online learning modules available for Nature's Notebook, and completing all of them will earn you a "Certified Observer" status in our database.

We have released a new mobile app for using Nature’s Notebook in the field - download it from Apple App Store or the Google Play Store! Note when searching for the app in the store: the new app version's icon is blue, as pictured here, rather than the old app, which has a yellow icon.

NN App store

If you downloaded a beta version for testing purposes, please uninstall it and get the newest release from the app stores.

For assistance using the app, view the step by step help document.

Once you've downloaded the app you will be promped to login using your Nature's Notebook account. 

If you made changes to your account using a computer, and do not see them on your new version of the app, open the app, and from the "Review" tab, click the button at the bottom for "Sync". After a few moments, your mobile device will update with the new account information and you will have access to the changes you made on the computer from your mobile device.

If you have the older version of the app (pre-June 15, 2019), consider transitioning to using the new app. Please check that your observations have been uploaded before moving over to using the new app. We will no longer be offering support for the old app after December 16, 2019.

Happy (mobile) Observing!

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.

General Volunteer Training Course Materials (Editable)

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.  

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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