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Active Local Phenology Networks

Here you will find our list of Local Phenology Programs using Nature's Notebook. If a group listed has a blank entry or is missing information, they have not updated their information with our USA-NPN NCO staff in 2019.

Click here to view a map of all of our Certified Local Phenology Leaders.

If you are a Local Phenology Leader who would like to complete or update your LPPs listing, please contact groups@usanpn.org.

Earthwise Aware (EwA) is a Nature conservation nonprofit in Massachusetts and the NPN addresses our standards for standardized scientific protocol rigor, global data, and open science. We focus on urban biodiversity and how to protect it. Concretely, we bring climate and biodiversity knowledge/science, ecological ethics, and environmental leadership to the core of communities and organizations. One of our main outreach is through Co-creative Biodiversity & Climate citizen/participatory science programs to engage communities in helping, contributing to, collaborating in scientific endeavors.

EwA participatory science principles are to:

* Advance Biodiversity & Climate research

* Give Science back to the people

Our participatory science pillars are:

* Species & ecosystems knowledge

* Ecological ethics

* Open and global science

* Democratization of science

We run our climate and biodiversity program at 4 fixed sites in Middlesex County (Massachusetts). At all locations, we actively record phenology via Nature’s Notebook. We use other global platforms for other kinds of biodiversity recording. We collaborate with experts and scientists and study various habitats at different levels (species occurrence & abundance, phenology, plant community assessment, etc.). The intent is to build a continuous natural history of the place through habitat/species surveillance/monitoring and phenology recording, and aligning as well with standards as developed by GEO BON (global biodiversity observation network).

Our program engages its participants in studying birds, amphibians, insects, fungi, plants, etc. We also pay attention to the relationships between species and reflect on the meaning and implications of these relationships in relation to the forest, the cities around, and further away. This intimate system-focused exploration helps to build a deep understanding of the place through rapid habitat-changing conditions and over time for the benefit of our sites, its scientists, and ultimately our communities. There are several species that we are monitoring among which are some rare or endangered species (and for which we record information for our local scientist connections).

With time and with a growing number of participants, we will increase the list of species we monitor.

Somerville, Medford, Winchester
MA
Partner Website:
First Observation:
07/2018
Impact Statement:

2018 Impact Statement

Earthwise Aware (EwA) Biodiversity & Climate Citizen Science fills important biodiversity and phenology data gaps. Our projects are about co-creative conservation using open and global science protocols and tools -protocols that lead to comparable and usable data, accessible and transparent to scientists and the public worldwide.

For our phenology studies, we use Nature’s Notebook that we endorse for its rigor and openness. Specifically, we value the standardization effort of the protocol across the U.S., therefore, leading to outcomes that we -as well as anyone interested- can aggregate and compare with other institutions’ output. Scientific rigor and openness are critical to science, and this was a factor for adopting Nature’s Notebook.  

Since we started in 2018, we recorded about 15,000 data points, which aggregated with about 20,000 biodiversity records, start to establish a continuous natural history of the urban wildlife sites that we are studying. Our 'system' approach is unique and an acknowledged differentiator. Our model is inclusive and democratic; it bridges expertises and domains; it truly values the skills of its citizen scientists and networks, and enables genuine Open Science. As a result, we are witnessing a rapid increase in knowledge, awareness, skills, and aspirations of our citizen scientists.

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2019 Impact Statement

EwA Biodiversity & Climate Citizen Science fills important biodiversity and phenology data gaps. EwA science projects are about co-creative conservation using open and global science protocols and tools. We support studies for which data follow protocols that lead to comparable and usable data. Data access is open and transparent to scientists and the public worldwide. Our perspective goes far beyond using the public as a resource to gather data while potentially educating the public. It is inclusive and democratic; it bridges expertizes and domains; it truly values the skills of its citizen scientists and networks, and it enables genuine Open Science.

As EwA Phenology is concerned, we use Nature’s Notebook protocol and platform that we endorse for its rigor and openness. Specifically, we approve of the standardization effort of the protocol across the U.S., therefore, leading to outcomes that we as well as anyone interested can aggregate and compare with other institutions’ output. Data rigor and openness are critical to science, and this was a definite factor for choosing to use Nature’s Notebook.

EwA’s program is young. Yet since we started we recorded about 18,000 data points, which aggregated with about 20,000 biodiversity occurrence and abundance records start to give a sense of the continuous natural history of the sites that we are studying. Our system approach is unique and an appreciated differentiator in our region. We also are witnessing first hand the increase of knowledge, awareness, skills, and aspirations  (KASA) of our citizen scientists and volunteers. Our model based on science democratization and the accessibility of our program to all communities make a difference while serving science.

The Gulf Coast Phenology Trail is composed of the following Local Phenology Programs (LPPs):

Barataria Phenology Trail, Bayou Lafourche Phenology Trail, Bayou Sauvage NWR, Big Branch Marsh NWR, Couturie Forest Phenology Trail, Crosby Arboretum, Grand Bay NWR/NERR, McLeod Water Park, Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR, Pascagoula River Audubon Center, USM Long Beach, USM Marine Education Center

The Gulf Coast Phenology Trail was established in 2017 to have citizen scientists observe and record phenophases in red maple, red bay, yaupon holly, and wax myrtle plants using the program, Nature's Notebook. Initially the four core plants were selected to learn if there is a east-west gradient in plants based on the seasons. The inventory of plants and animals were increased depending on the site. Beginning in 2022 the primary focus on the Gulf Coast Phenology Trail will be in Louisiana to focus on plants and seed collections based on the funding for "Time to Restore: Connecting People, Plants, and Pollinators."

Various
AL, LA, MS
Partner Website:
First Observation:
01/2017
Impact Statement:

2018 Impact Statement

The Gulf Coast Phenology Trail was established in 2017 to have citizen scientists observe and record phenophases in red maple, red bay, yaupon holly, and wax myrtle plants using the program, Nature's Notebook. Initially the four core plants were selected to learn if there is a east-west gradient in plants based on the seasons. The inventory of plants and animals were increased depending on the site.
Sites selected for the Gulf Coast Phenology Trail included primarily federal lands along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and areas in southeastern Louisiana. Using an established monitoring program such as Nature's Notebook made it easy to implement with the assistance of staff and recruited citizen scientists. Networking with Master Naturalists, Master Gardners, or Habitat Stewards helped with the recruitment and training for volunteers who needed to provide pay-back hours. The pool of potential volunteers was enlarged to include students, interns, and the interested public. Networking, one-on-one recruitment, advertisements, social media were used to increase participation.
Adding additional partners such as a community college and universities affiliated sites increased the "inventory" of core plants and the number of staff, students, and volunteer participants. Providing training classes for the interested public increased their knowledge of phenology and climate change. Students spent time out of the classroom to observe and work together in teams. Volunteers who regularly monitored "their" plants have learned about the life cycles and made connections that increased their knowledge of native plants. Anecdotally, participants stated that they look at plants with a new set of eyes and they look forward to changes or phenophases. Managers of sites wanted to know how they can share information about the program and have requested talks or written information.

Indiana Phenology and Holliday Park are jointly sponsoring our project using Nature's Notebook to develop a network of site across Indiana to gather baseline data on phenology timing in Indiana.

Indianapolis
IN
First Observation:
09/2018

In early fall of 2016 we established the first 2 tree plots that include 15 trees with 11 different tree species. In January 2018, 2 additional plots, called Shady Invader plots, were added to better understand the phenology and ecology of 3 species of invasive shrubs compared to 2 species of native understory woody plants. In October 2019 three additional plots were established on the Meads Quarry side of Island Home Ave. Two were established in the Subaru Preserve – one in the riparian zone of Toll Creek, the second in an upland location. The third plot is located in a mature oak-hickory stand on the Hickory trail. The 7 phenology plots cover a wide variety of Ijams forest ecosystems enduring various types and stages of disturbance. Data from these plots provide important primary information on Ijams ecosystems that can be used to more deeply understand the present status and provide information for understanding future response of trees and shrubs to management, recovery processes, and changing environmental conditions at Ijams. The 3 relatively mature forest tree plots (Secret Pond Trail, River Trail, and Hickory Trail) provide information on 23 tree species. The two Subaru Preserve plots provide monitoring information that may be useful for the restoration of these damaged ecosystems. The 2 Shady Invader plots are a resource for understanding the establishment and expansion of invasive shrubs and may provide information for management to reduce their impact on Ijams ecosystems. Each Shady Invader plot includes individuals of 2 native species and 3 invasive species.

Knoxville
TN
This LPP is working with under-served communities.
First Observation:
08/2017

At Valle de Oro in South Valley, NM we aim to anser the following questions with Nature's Notebook:

  • Establishing information on richness and abundance of focal bird species before, during, and after restoration
  • Studying timing of phenological events in native Rio Grande cottonwoods and invasive Siberian elms
  • Use this data to help inform management decisions such as when to remove physical buildings on the refuge to have as little impact as possible on bird species; time flooding of fields and wetlands to limit elm seed germination and encourage cottonwood seed germination, etc
  • Does species richness, abundance, timing of phenological events change in response to management activities and climate change?

South Valley
NM
This LPP is working with under-served communities.
Partner Website:
First Observation:
12/2013