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Phenology for Master Naturalists

This phenology class was presented in a 3-hour training course for Master Naturalists.

The learning outcomes for the course are as follows:

  • Define phenology and explain how it is an indicator of climate change.
  • Summarize basic principles of ecology and how they relate to phenology
  • Describe the difference between weather and climate and describe the climates change through time
  • Describe phenology from a historical perspective, culturally and ecologically.
  • Define how data collect for Nature’s Notebook is utilized for research
  • Define citizen science and describe how it is utilized for research
  • Revisit/summarize the importance and value of nature journals

You may wish to assign Master Naturalists reading before hand, including famous naturalists' writing on the timing of phenological events through time. For this course the following reading assignments were given:

Phenology required reading:

Natural History of the Sonoran Desert:

  • Chapter 5, pages 27-35. “Sonoran Desert Natural Events Calendar.”

Phenology Suggested Reading:

  • Krutch, J.W. (1985). The Desert Year. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

The class included examples of phenological mismatch for the Sonoran Desert. This information can be swapped out for other geographic regions. It also included several hands-on activities in the field, exploring the Nature's Notebook protocols. Worksheets for the activities are included above. Homework assignments are also included.

Offered in addition to this lecture was a 3-hour field lab session designed to take a further look into the protocols and learn how to collect observations on species of interest at a nearby partner group site.

You can browse other Master Naturalist presentations in our workshop archive or here and here.

USA-NPN Curriculum Resource Number: 2018-001-W

Type of Resource: 
Audience Type: 
Adult Audience
Length of Time: 
3 hours