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A celebration of phenology, or life cycle events of plants and animals, their timing and relationship to the environment. During Phenology Week we celebrate local phenology leaders and partner organizations who provide opportunities for the community to learn more about our natural world though Nature's Notebook

Image credit:
LoriAnne Barnett

Phenology Week: Sept 27 - Oct 4, 2014

Biosphere 2 sign view

The 2nd Annual Phenology Days Celebration in Tucson was a success!

The Phenology Days celebration was created to engage local phenology partner organizations in collaboratively organizing an event to highlight how phenology informs natural resource outreach and education programs in the community of Tucson. Such an event showcases partners as well as offers an opportunity to teach about a common interest - understanding the phenology of species in the Sonoran Desert.

Twelve organizations hosted the events during the week of September 27th- October 4th. Seventeen events spread among those days included activities for youth and adults, a lecture series, a high school creative call for poetry and art related to phenology, hikes and walks, milkweed plantings, a raffle, a keynote speaker, and a capstone event at a local park. Re-useable marketing materials were developed and shared for others interested in hosting a Phenology Week. 

By the end of the week, 218 people participated in the events, with many people attending more than one event. Almost $900 in raffle items were donated from 10 local organizations, 8 of which were new to the phenology trail. Volunteers from each organization assisted in every aspect of the planning and hosting of the events. Participants reported that they learned a great deal about phenology in the desert, the Nature's Notebook citizen science program, and how they can participate in more local events.

Think about hosting a Phenology Week event in your community next year! Let us know if we can help. We'll be doing it again next year!

Read the Arizona Daily Star Article, written by Elena Acoba, which appeared on 9/21/14.

Some photos from all of our events! 2014 Phenology Days Photo Album.

Instagram  Follow us on Instagram and upload your photos from the events! Use the hashtag #PhenoWeek2014 for tweets and photos.


Scan the QR Code to get the Google Map of the Tucson Phenology Trail on your mobile device. 


Schedule of Events

Week-long Lecture Series

*Events highlighted with an asterisk are for kids and adults!

Let us know if you can join us by checking yes or no on this form

Talk Title and Description

Given by



Phenology: What's it all about? This talk will give a broad introduction to the science of phenology, why it matters, and introduce you to ways to get involved "in your own backyard."

Jake Weltzin

Mon, 9/29

Himmel Library

Some of the things that phenology can tell you about a strange Saguaro that your Mother didn't tell you - This talk will introduce you to the variety bloom times of the Saguaro in our desert - beginning and ending dates here in the valley, how long the flowers stay open, when & why the fruits ripen when they do. We will discuss the history of the "strange" Saguaro that is right there, curb-side on a street in Sam Hughes Neighborhood! Bill will tell us why he has studied this plant, what he has discovered doing it, and just what that all may mean.......Be prepared to take a walk from the Market to the Saguaro in Sam Hughes.

William Peachey

Tues, 9/30

Rincon Market 

*Phenology Scavenger Hunt for Kids (and Adults!) and U-Pick Market - Come explore Tucson Village Farm at our weekly U-Pick market, and learn about how phenology is important for plants and animals in Southern Arizona. Kids (and parents) will get hands-on experience making phenological observations as we learn about how our ecosystems interact with the environment.

Ian Shiach 

Tues, 9/30

Tucson Village Farm

Insects and phenology in the garden - Life cycles of the small and numerous and how we can use their predictability to help us keep our plants healthy. 

Peter Warren

Wed, 10/1 

Ward 6 Office 

Cross streets are Speedway and Country Club. 

*Are you afraid of the dark? We will be exploring our five senses and how insects use more than just vision to navigate the night. At the Rincon Heights Community Garden we will black light to document what bugs are in our backyards this time of year.

Kara Welch

Wed, 10/1

Rincon Heights Community Garden

Our Climate is Changing...So What? In this presentation, Theresa Crimmins will describe how the timing of flowering and other phenological events in plants of the southwest are responding to a highly variable and changing climate. Theresa and her husband, Michael, have worked with local naturalist David Bertelsen for nearly a decade to interpret his >150,000 records of plant flowering times in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Together, this team has documented clear patterns of change among some species, and resistance to change among others.

Theresa Crimmins

Thurs, 10/2

USGS Environment and Natural Resources Building

Catalina Conference Room (Room 253) Cross streets are 6th St. and Park Ave. Parking available at Main Gate and 6th St. garages.

*Join us in Borton's Environmental Learning Lab (BELL) for a phenology walk. We will also share of the Cardinal Room's ArcGIS Story Map app created by students to showcase the phenology trail.

Molly Reed

Thurs, 10/2 

Borton Elementary Environmental Learning Lab

Buffelgrass - Similarities and differences between on the ground phenology observations and satellite imagery

Cindy Wallace

Fri, 10/3

USGS Environment and Natural Resources Building

Catalina Conference Room (Room 253)

Cross streets are 6th St. and Park Ave. Closet garage parking is the Cherry St. Garage on Campus


Site-sponsored Phenology Events During the Week

Let us know if you can join us by checking yes or no on this form

What? Where? When? Led By
*Phenology Bird Walk- Plan for about an hour walk, bring water and binocs! Tucson Audubon's Mason Center

Sat, 9/27 8am

Alyssa Rosemartin

*Phenology Discovery Walk - plan for about a hour outdoors and a short work. Bring water! Sam Hughes Neighborhood, Meet at Rincon Market

Sat, 9/27 8am

Susan Peters and Molly McKasson
*Wild about the Grasslands! Phenology Walk and National Public Lands Day Empire Ranch

Sat., 9/27 

8am - 2pm

LoriAnne Barnett and Gail Corkill

*Phenology Research and Citizen Science -  includes admission to the Biosphere 2  Biosphere 2

Sun, 9/28 

9am - 11:30a

Ian Shiach
Phenology in the desert and Nature's Notebook Demo. Plan for an indoor demo and a walk outside. Bring water! Oracle State Park

Sun, 9/28 12 - 2pm

LoriAnne Barnett and Laurie Bryant
Phenology Tour in the Gardens - meet in the gift shop. Tucson Botanical Gardens

Tues, 9/30 10am

Ashley Pederson
Bird Walk Agua Caliente Park

Thurs, 10/2 8am

Sponsored by Pima County Natural Resources and Parks and Recreation
*Phenology in the wetlands - plan for a walk outside, bring water! Should last about an hour or an hour and a half. Sweetwater Wetlands

Fri, 10/3 9am

Betsy Wilkening and Jessica Ahlstrohm


October 4, 2014 9:00 am - Noon

Phenology Days Celebration!

Held at the Pima County Brandi Fenton Memorial Park

Enter via the main entrance at the light on River Road/Alvernon. Meet at the Visitor Center on the left. Follow the signs to us!

Let us know if you can join us! Check yes or no on this form



Food Trucks will be there! Zany Beaver and Bam Bam Mexican Asian Fusion  
Nature Crafts and Youth Activities 9:00 am - Noon
Table Displays and Giveaways 9:00 am - Noon
Phenology Walk in the Butterfly Garden 9:30 am
Milkweed Planting 10:00 am
Keynote Speaker - Gary Nabhan, Ethnobotanist and Author 10:30 am
Nature's Notebook Online Demo 11:00 am
Raffle Drawings 11:15 am


Raffle Contest

We are hosting a contest! Attend one or more of the events during the week to get a sticker for attending. Bring a completed checklist to the Saturday morning, October 4th, event to earn free raffle tickets for the giveaways for each event you've attended! Can't attend during the week - no worries! You will get a raffle ticket as a door prize on Saturday and can earn more by visiting our activity and sponsor tables. Download the checklist here or pick one up at our events.  Details about raffle prizes will be posted during the week of September 21st. 

Photography or Writing Contest

Invitation to Create: The Tucson Phenology Trail partners are inviting all high school students to express their creativity on the subject of phenology: The life cycles of plants and animals—the interconnectedness of the natural world.  Though Google is behind in putting “phenology” into its dictionary, the current urgency of climate change, makes this an essential word in every student’s vocabulary.  Students can submit poems, essays, photographs or any other works of art inspired by subjects that fit within the domain of phenology. More information about the contest and how to submit an entry can be found here.