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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.

We are the continuation of the tree spotting group originally organized by Lizzie Wolkovich at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. We are an unfunded group of about a dozen volunteers trained in the original program.

The Arnold Arboretum originally hosted two phenology programs, including the Native and Indicator Observation Program and the Tree Spotters program, organized by Dr. Lizzie Wolkovich and other researchers at Harvard University. These programs ran from 2016 until 2019, when Dr. Wolkovich departed Harvard University.

Since then, a dozen of the volunteers trained in the original program have continued the Tree Spotters Program, observing phenology of trees, reading and discussing relevant books and articles, Zooming with researchers in the field, sharing information about related activities, and setting up a webpage on Dr. Wolkovich’s temporal ecology lab website. In their words, "We have worked to keep the initial trees and shrubs tagged in the Arboretum, and have offered to guide anyone interested in this project. We not only recognize the value to collecting this data for research purposes, but have embraced our trees and shrubs as family members that we care about. Tree spotting has opened our eyes to the marvels of nature, awakening our concern and curiosity for all."

The Tree Spotters were awarded the USA-NPN's 2021 PhenoChampion, as an exemplary program that shows a dedicated group of volunteers can overcome challenges, maintain a critical long-term dataset, and create excitement in learning about phenology.   

Boston
MA
Partner Website:
First Observation:
08/2009
Impact Statement:

2017 Impact Statement

Lizzie Wolkovich, Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, launched the Arnold Arboretum Tree Spotters program pilot in 2015. Her research explores how climate and community assembly may explain and forecast plant phenology, which is strongly linked to climate and can be easily observed. Lizzie is interested in engaging citizen scientists to collect phenology data to support her research.

From 3/25/15 – 3/26/17: Trained 238 volunteers to make/record observations in Nature’s Notebook (68,651 observations to date); offered 33 training classes (28 for new Tree Spotters and 5 refresher classes for returning volunteers), 22 opportunities for volunteers to meet with researchers on the grounds, and 6 educational sessions (also open to the public); held 3 social events. Staff: research assistants/graduate students/interns and a volunteer.

Forty-three volunteers have participated actively in the program (making multiple observations and/or collaborating on special projects). We have also engaged the general public via our educational sessions. We have an active social media presence (Facebook, Flickr, Twitter), a monthly eNewsletter, a website, and a volunteer database. As a result of the success of this pilot, the Arboretum is now looking for funding to ensure that the program will continue.

Undergraduate students in an introductory biology course at Trinity University are using Nature's Notebook to begin using early-season phenological studies to help students learn to make close observations of plants on a regular basis.  This is a skill-development exercise that is designed to have students in the field as early as possible spring semester, and in Texas can be as early as January and February, and prepare them for experimental/manipulative studies on pollination syndromes and monarch butterflies.

San Antonio
TX
This LPP is working with students.
First Observation:
06/2016

Our nonprofit, the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation (TMPF), is in the process of restoring a decommissioned golf course back to its natural state as a wetland.  By tracking the phenology of plants and animals on the wetland over a span of several years, we hope to collect data that will aid management decisions for the restoration project. For example, knowing when invasive plants disperse seeds can help determine the ideal window for treatments such as mowing, herbicide, and hand removal.

Reno
NV
This LPP is working with students.
This LPP is working with under-served communities.
First Observation:
03/2021

Tucson Mission Garden is using Nature's Notebook as part of the Tucson Phenology Trail to understand the impact of climate change on the phenophases of plants and how that might impact migratory animals that either pass through or wind up in the Tucson area..

Tucson
AZ
This LPP is working with under-served communities.
First Observation:
09/2016

TWRS is a unique wilderness research station with a history of collecting phenological data.  We are looking to make our data accessible, useful, and engaging for the public and hope to establish valuable rural baselines to prove the value of this type of field station.

Challis
ID

We want to start using Nature's Notebook to track changes to plants and animals within the arboretum in order to engage and educate our visitors. Long-time staff and volunteers have noticed changes over the years, such as earlier blooms and earlier arrival of some animal species. Nature's Notebook will be a perfect tool to substantiate these anecdotal observations.

Media
PA
This LPP is working with students.
Partner Website:
First Observation:
03/2022

The UA SEEC Program aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics (STEAM) and social science among low-income and under-represented minority K-12 students in Title I schools within the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). The SEEC program, part of the University of Arizona’s (UA) Community and School Garden Program (CSGP), gives TUSD students and teachers the resources and opportunity to connect with community scholars performing cutting-edge, ongoing environmental research through citizen science programs, community grants, guest lectures, training programs, and more. In order to have a successful program, it is pertinent to be able to connect students with the people and citizen science programs that can have tangible outcomes, concrete examples of place-based environmental knowledge, and sustainability. The SEEC Program will connect its students and teachers to the USA National Phenology Network (USANPN) and Nature's Notebook (NN) as a way for them to formally participate in citizen science projects, establish scientific questions, methods, and means of data collection, and analyze their results. The USA-NPN and NN will help the SEEC Program establish low-maintenance educational tools, long-term connections within a school system, accessible data, and local connections with their surrounding environment, which can result in increased interest, understanding, and commitment to the environment, STEAM, and social science fields for years to come. TUSD students, staff, and SEEC Program staff and interns are observing with Nature's Notebook.

Tucson
AZ
This LPP is working with students.
This LPP is working with under-served communities.
First Observation:
11/2015

University of the Fraser Valley is using Nature's Notebook in our semester-long phenology project an introduction to ecology course to engage students in a research project. The course will be taught online due to COVID-19 and students will establish sites in their neighbourhoods that they will repeatedly monitor throughout the semester. Students will also formulate hypotheses on the species that they are tracking that they will test using Nature's Notebook's dataset. 

Abbotsford, British Columbia
BC
This LPP is working with students.

UIdaho has a phenology lab exercise in their course and want students to observe trees tand use USA-NPN data to estimate bud break, enter observations through Nature Notebook and compare predicted with observed.  Teaches factors controlling annual growth phases and develops observational skills. They will observe quaking aspen (Populus tremuloidies) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menzeisii) at several locations on campus.

Idaho
This LPP is working with students.
First Observation:
03/2017

University of La Verne aims to have students to collect data that is meaningful.  Ecology students will carry out a semester long research project where they will collect data for Nature's Notebook. The data collected this year (2020-2021) will serve as preliminary data for my future's courses.  Student's can then get a sense for how science actually builds upon itself!

La Verne
CA
This LPP is working with students.
This LPP is working with under-served communities.

University of La Verne - Biology Department Mountain and Desert Biology Course where students develop their own research questions and collect data throughout 5 weeks of the course.  The goal is for them to collect data that would be useful to their community and use Nature's Notebook.

La Verne
CA
This LPP is working with students.
First Observation:
05/2017

UNC Asheville has established two phenology gardens on their campus (sun and shade) as part of a NSF-funded project. They plan to use students (both research and classroom) to monitor phenophases in these gardens for many years to come. They plan to eventually install a phenology trail for use with other groups (K-12, community groups, etc.). They are collaborating with two other regional universities, Appalachian State University and Warren Wilson College, who are also installing similar gardens and trails. Nature's Notebook will allow multiple trained people to enter phenology data on their sites.

Asheville
NC
This LPP is working with students.
First Observation:
09/2018

University at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY is using Nature's Notebook in a large (250 students/semester) course to teach about phenology and general science education. Observations will be collected by Undergraduate students enrolled in GEO105 Environmental Science course.

Buffalo
NY
This LPP is working with students.
First Observation:
06/2019

University at Buffalo Backyard Observers is using Nature's Notebook to engage our remote learning students in citizen science and collate observations related to our course at the University at Buffalo.

Buffalo
NY
This LPP is working with students.
This LPP is working with under-served communities.

Nature's Notebook is being used by the Principles of Plant Science course at the University of Florida in Gainsville. This course is taught all semesters and Nature's Notebook will be a course activity repeating every year. This activity will contribute to the students exposure to identifying and monitoring plants. Also, they will contribute to science by providing their observations to the national network.

Gainesville
FL
This LPP is working with students.
First Observation:
03/2021

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