USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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Nature's Notebook Needs Assessment

Complete the needs assessment form to share with National Coordinating Office staff your ideas for a long-term Nature's Notebook monitoring program. Needs assessments help you to determine if this program is right for you, and if so, where to begin. 


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USA-NPN's Start of Spring maps win Outstanding Achievement Award

The USA-NPN has recieved the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Renewable Natural Resouces Foundation recognizing our Start of Spring maps and access tools. These maps are based on decades of plant phenology data, and predict where spring has arrived across the country.


Teacher Training Resources

Conducting a Teacher Training workshop? Hoping to inspire teachers to establish 2+ year monitoring programs at their schools? Find activities below that help teachers develop a needs assessment and plan, as well as a link to some phenology-related activities and lesson plans that could be used to inspire them. 

Tue, 06/06/2017

Goldspotted Oak Borer Management

We're trying to calculate degree days for the Goldspotted oak borer (Agrilus auroguttatus), a SE Arizona-native bark beetle that was imported into southern California. It can kill up to 20%/yr of mature California black and cost live oak in infested woodlands, an unprecedented rate of loss. We're developing a degree day model of adult emergence, which can be used by landowners to schedule management activities for maximum efficiency. The need is to resolve a 30 to 40 day delay in degree-days across the outbreak area.

Educator/Biologist for the Rio Grande Phenology Trail Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP)


Educator/Biologist for the Rio Grande Phenology Trail Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP) Partnering with Valle De Oro National Wildlife Refuge

Full Time, Year Round Position Starting 1 August 2017

Anticipated Hiring Timeline

  • Applications accepted through Monday 29 May
  • Phone interviews with selected candidates 30 May through 2 June
  • In person interviews at Bosque School for finalists, Albuquerque 7 and 8 June
  • Position offered by 15 June Starting 1 August 2017

Overview of Partner Organizations and Job:

The Educator/Biologist will work as a ‘Phenology Network Coordinator’ to assist Local Phenology Leaders and their volunteer groups in tracking changes in plant and animal life cycle events (phenology) at multiple locations along the Rio Grande as part of larger citizen science efforts including Nature’s Notebook and the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program.

The Rio Grande Phenology Trail (RGP Trail) ( was created in 2014 to bring together like-minded organizations to better understand the changing phenology of the Middle Rio Grande watershed. The Trail began with phenology monitoring of focal species at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest, and has since expanded to include six locations from Santa Fe in the north to Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in the south.

The Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP) hosts one of the Rio Grande Phenology Trail locations and is a local citizen science organization in the central New Mexico region that focuses on student engagement in the local riverside forest, or bosque. It is a partnership of Bosque School and the University of New Mexico Department of Biology. BEMP provides over 10,000 students, teachers, and the public with environmental education and science research opportunities annually.

Nature’s Notebook ( is a project of the USA National Phenology Network (USANPN, Weekly monitoring will result in scientific data that will provide information on seasonal changes in plant and animal species along the Rio Grande corridor. This information will be used to meet management and outreach goals at the various Trail locations, and will be summarized and presented back to local communities and schools. In order to best understand how this region is being impacted by a changing climate, the Rio Grande Phenology Trail will amass at least 7-10 years’ worth of observation data. A main focus of this position is to create a sustainable monitoring program that will endure for many years.

This individual will work with other BEMP Educators to develop and deliver exciting hands-on education programming and curriculum related to the Rio Grande Phenology Trail, both in the field and in classroom settings. Students in the existing BEMP and Nature’s Notebook programs range from ages 8 to 18.

We are looking for someone who is flexible and ready to adapt to new situations on the fly. The successful applicant should be a reliable and dependable team-member, and should be excited about fostering curiosity in students about the natural world. Strong communication and organizational skills are a must.

Job duties will include:

  • Supporting the RGP Trail’s Local Phenology Leaders (LPLs) by organizing regular check-in meetings (quarterly), relaying feedback to staff at the USA National Phenology Network, and providing resources and trainings for the LPLs as needed (with support from the USA-NPN)
  • Organizing trainings for new volunteers and calibration trainings (to ensure consistent data collection between sites) for experienced volunteers
  • Working with local schools in the BEMP network to involve them in phenology monitoring at various Trail locations and BEMP sites and to support general BEMP and field science work as assigned
  • Involving students at BEMP sites and visitors to Valle de Oro NWR (and other interested Trail locations) in making observations via paper datasheets/smartphones
  • Organizing social events, seminars, and other activities to retain program volunteers
  • Maintaining social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) as a means to strengthen connectivity within the community of Trail members.
  • Promote awareness of USA-NPN’s Nature’s Notebook program by attending related events for Valle de Oro and BEMP as a representative of all 3 programs.
  • Writing a newsletter to share results, resources, and stories from the Trail
  • Creating data summaries, visualizations, and stories to share with Trail volunteers and the public
  • Expand the Trail by reaching out to other potential partners and supporting new Trail partners
  • Complete both quarterly and annual written reports and plans for the future for ensuring the sustainability of the position

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with experience in field biology, environmental education, or related work 
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated experience in program coordination and volunteer management
  • Experience in an environmental education role
  • Desire to work with volunteers, students, and the public
  • Ability to work from two locations – Bosque School (where the BEMP offices are) and Valle De Oro National Wildlife Refuge
  • Familiarity with social media outlets

Highly Desired Qualifications: 

  • Strong connection with Hispanic and/or Native American (particularly Pueblo) communities
  • Spanish Speaker

Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience with data summary and analysis and report writing
  • Demonstrated experience teaching, curriculum and lesson development, and creation of training modules
  • Demonstrated experience creating data visualizations appropriate for the public
  • Previous experience working on citizen science projects or initiatives

Application Materials:

Applicants should email a cover letter and resume to Preferred deadline for submission of applications is 29 May 2017. Position is open until filled.

The position is an employee of the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP) within Bosque School. It is a full time position. Salary: $35,400 + benefits. Health and other benefits are provided as per Bosque School’s policies. All Bosque School contracts are year to year. All BEMP contracts contingent upon continued funding.

Non-Discrimination and Disability Policy:

Bosque School is an equal opportunity employer and makes all employment decisions, including those related to recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, and recognition of individuals on the basis of their ability and job related qualifications and without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or any other classification proscribed under applicable federal, state, or local law.

We actively seek diversity among faculty and administration as well as among students. The school complies with the law regarding reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation in order to participate in the application/interview process are requested to contact the School in order to arrange such accommodation (505) 898-6388.

Opportunity within the NCO: 

National Phenology Database Reaches 10 million record milestone

As of April 24, 2017, the National Phenology Database has reached 10 million records! Each record is a response to a question about phenology activity for a particular plant or animal species on a unique day and time, by a unique observer.

Read more about this milestone in this story in UA News.  


Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

2017-present; understand the effectiveness of restoration activities (turning farmland to tallgrass prairie and pine savanna to support native species) and improve the timing of invasive species treatment of species such as yellow sweet clover

Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuges

2017-present; better understand the phenology of focal species of the region, and how these species respond to a changing climate and to management activities such as prescribed fire

Status of Spring

Status of Spring

This year, spring leaf-out was 1-3 weeks late in the SE, northern Great Plains, MW, and NE and 1-3 weeks early across the central Great Plains and mid-Atlantic. The west is a patchwork of early and late arrival.  

See the maps

USGS Top Story: Just HOW EARLY is spring arriving in your neighborhood?

This USGS Top Story highlights why we should care about an early spring, how these predictions are calculated, and what you can do to help improve these models! 


Status of Spring

Status of Spring

This year, spring leaf-out was 1-3 weeks late in the SE, northern Great Plains, MW, and NE and 1-3 weeks early across the central Great Plains and mid-Atlantic. The west is a patchwork of early and late arrival. 

See the maps

Spring is arriving early in the Southeastern US

According to the USA-NPN's Spring Indices, spring is arriving 20 days earlier than a long-term average (1981-2010) in much of the Southeastern US. The Extended Spring Indices are models that predict the onset of early spring plants across the United States. You can see these maps as well as maps of Accumulated Growing Degree Days (AGDD) on the USA-NPN's Phenology Visualization Tool.


The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST)at University of Washington - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Seattle, WA


The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) in the College of the Environment at the University of Washington is looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate with expertise in educational research for a two-year, 100% FTE position starting in Winter 2017.  This position will be located on the main campus in Seattle, in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

COASST is a 17-year-old citizen science project primarily focused on beachcast marine birds as indicators of changes in, and forcing of, coastal ocean ecosystems in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. Starting from a program of 12 participants on the south coast of Washington in 1999, COASST has grown to ~850 participants collecting data on more than 500 beaches. Current participation includes ages 7 to 93; students to park rangers to homemakers to teachers to community organizers; novice-to-master birders; tribal elders and three-generation families to recent arrivals; urbanites to residents of remote villages.  Survey sites range from Mendocino, CA to Kotzebue, AK and west through the Aleutian Islands. This grain and extent makes COASST the largest beached bird program in the world. In the last two years, COASST has also developed and implemented a small and growing marine debris data collection program.

COASST data include a rich, high quality dataset derived from participant data collection, which is used in a wide range of science and natural resource management. This dataset also includes individual participant self-assessment of expertise, accuracy (as assessed by independent verification), and effort (surveys per unit time), as well as a range of demographic information.

Together with collaborators at Oregon State University and Conservation International, COASST has received an NSF grant to examine recruitment to, and retention in, rigorous citizen science programs, using COASST as a model. We are situating our study within frameworks of Activity Theory, and Community of Practice.  As part of this effort, extensive survey data have been collected from both seasoned (more than one year of participation) and novice (just signed up for a training) participants. Additional data sources include an intensive journaling project, and focus groups. Archived data include previous surveys allowing population-level and individual tracking of participant responses over time.

Essential Qualifications: PhD in a relevant field prior to the proposed start date.  A valid Washington State driver's license and ability to travel to remote locations.

Desirable Qualifications: The ideal candidate for this position has experience with qualitative data types (open and closed ended survey answers; transcripts of focus groups and interviews, and observational field notes), has performed and refined qualitative coding using appropriate software (e.g., NVivo, Dedoose), and has expertise in a range of qualitative and quantitative (multi-variate) analysis of categorical, ranked, and numeric data (e.g., CCA, NMDS, machine learning). In addition, candidates with demonstrated experience in peer-reviewed publication in education, citizen science and/or natural science journals are highly desirable, as a central responsibility of this position is creative analysis of these large datasets in order to move citizen science, and more broadly informal science education, forward. Finally, we are looking for an independent person who can leap into analytical work, be self-directed, and who is also willing to be an interactive member of the team of faculty, postdocs, staff and students who collectively comprise COASST.  The position will require regular travel to meet with collaborators, conduct participant interviews, and observe COASST trainings, refreshers and other events.

Interested individuals can find out more about COASST by visiting our website (, and/or by contacting Julia Parrish, COASST Executive Director and Professor at the University of Washington (

To apply, please submit electronically to Julia Parrish the following: (1) A letter of interest detailing your skills and experience that would serve you well in this position, and how these would add substantively to the social science and educational research part of our group. Please tell us why you want this job, and why we want to interview you!  (2) A curriculum vitae which includes a publication list.  (3) A statement of scholarly work outlining your short-term and longer-term career goals.  (4) The names and contact information for three references.   Priority review of applications will begin on 25 January 2017 and proceed until a candidate is recruited. 

The University of Washington promotes diversity and inclusion among our faculty, staff and students.  COASST seeks candidates who are able to fully engage audiences from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, both on and off campus. 

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status or genetic information.

Opportunity within the NCO: 

George Melendez Wright Initiative for Young Leaders in Climate Change at Devils Postpile National Monument

Opportunity in Devils Postpile National Monument through the George Melendez Wright Initiative for Young Leaders in Climate Change to study "WHAT’S BLOOMING IN THE COLD AIR POOL?". Full description of the position can be found here. This internship is designed for undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates. 
Information on applying can be found here. Applications due January 19th.
Opportunity within the NCO: