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Making observations on a flowering cactus

The Nature's Notebook Summer Short-course is designed to help you begin a long-term, sustainable monitoring program with students, volunteers, or staff.

Image credit:
Image credit: Brian F. Powell

Local Phenology Leader Summer Short-Course

Need help figuring out how to get started with Nature's Notebook when monitoring with a group of people? Our website contains a lot of information! The Local Phenology Leader Program is designed to provide you with the resources you need to observe with a group of people. Consider this short-course to help you find what you need and start thinking about how to establish a sustainable Nature's Notebook program.

Teaching a volunteer how to use the phenophase protocols

The Nature's Notebook Summer Short-course is a 4-week long, 8-10 hour online course. It is designed to help you find what you need on the Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN websites and explore how other Local Phenology Leaders are using Nature's Notebook to answer local science and management questions. Through participation you are eligible to earn 10 learning-hours of credit for continuing education. This course teachs the basics of Nature's Notebook monitoring and how to train others in the field. The course is facilitated online in the Canvas Learning Management System.

Due to time zones and online-in person participation, we are only able to enroll participants who are in the United States and are able to contribute observations to our Nature's Notebook phenology monitoring program. Participants should plan to spend approximately 2 hours per week on the course materials. There is a required weekly meeting and one homework assignment that must be completed to be successful.

The 2020 Course will begin on July 6th and end on July 24th. There will be pre-course assignments to complete during the week of July 1st.

The cost of the course is a non-refundable $25. We are only able to enroll 25 people per summer session. If you'd like to apply to be considered, add your name to the interest list and you will receive an application when it becomes available during the first week of June each year.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Locate information relevant to creating and maintaining a partner group in the Nature’s Notebook website
  2. Establish a site-based long-term monitoring location designed to be used for at least two years
  3. Utilize the Nature’s Notebook program to enter observations and review them using the observation deck calendar and visualization tool
  4. Recognize basic phenology protocols for monitoring and resources available to learn how to observe
  5. Create a Group in Nature’s Notebook and demonstrate the use of the administrative tools for managing observers
  6. Develop a needs assessment for implementation of a long-term phenology monitoring program using Nature’s Notebook
  7. Recognize the value of the annual Local Phenology Program evaluation and reporting process

NOTE: This course does not cover:

  1. the technical details of how to answer tricky phenophase questions. In the future we may create online learning modules to address those things.
  2. How to use the Phenology Observation Portal to download monitoring data

Brief Course Outline

Pre-Course Work Pre-course assessment; create Canvas and Nature's Notebook accounts
Week 1 Welcome, overview of websites; Intro to Phenology and long-term monitoring
Week 2 Using the phenology calendar tools; Working with observers
Week 3 Intro to Program Planning; The Community of Practice for Leaders


Course structure and requirements

This is an all online, interactive, 3-week (approximately 8-10 hour) course, hosted in the Canvas Learning Management System.

The cost of the course is a non-refundable $25, which includes a hard copy of our Botany Primer upon successful completion of five assignments.

Each week will include a combination of background readings, videos, and an exploration of the Nature's Notebook website and its resources.  You will be required to complete self-paced assignments to demonstrate your competency. You will also be required to participate weekly in ONE hour-long Online Meeting, with peers and USA-NPN Communicate and Connect Staff, to share ideas, ask questions of the experts and celebrate what you've learned. Meetings are offered on Mondays at 3 pm PST and Tuesdays at 9 am PST - you select the one that best meets your schedule.


Want to become a Certificed Local Phenology Leader?

Certified Local Phenology LeaderIf you'd rather take a more in-depth program planning course for Nature's Notebook, consider our spring and fall Local Phenology Leader Certification Course. This 80-hour course will help you create deliverables that can immediately be used to implement a monitoring program. You will also be publicly recognized as a Certified Local Phenology Leader.