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Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
I am a high school student who began conducting phenology research under the guidance of employees at the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in 2014. I have indicated six plants and eight animals that populate New Hampshire's Great Bay to observe, however the list of species is continually evolving. The observations I have recorded have been made in accordance with the National Phenology Network's guidelines for phenophases. In my second year of research, 2015, I decided that I would like to make this a more communal project. I am currently in the process of developing a system that allows visitors to the GBNERR center to contribute to the phenological data collection. The goal of this process will be to broaden the amount of data being collected, the frequency of the data collection, and the long-term duration of the data collection. Including the community in this data collection will be an excellent opportunity for community members to make their visits to the GBNERR meaningful and will also help them learn more about the intricacy of their surrounding natural environment. The purpose of this project is to establish a formidable and long term data-collection network that addresses the question "How are changes in the climate and health of New Hampshire's Great Bay affecting some of the animals and plants that populate the estuary and their seasonal developments?" Hopefully this research project will shed some light on how life in New Hampshire's Great Bay is changing over time, especially as climate change and pollution continue to be a critical issues.