USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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USA-NPN Collaborating Projects address specific aspects of the organization’s mission to collect, store, and share phenology-related information.

Image credit:
California Phenology Project

Collaborating Projects

USA-NPN Collaborating Projects address topics ranging from specific data collection efforts to the development of visualization tools. These efforts are typically short-term (lasting a few years), have specific goals, and are grant-funded.

Engage Nature’s Notebook observers in collecting observations to help answer your questions

We can partner with you to engage Nature's Notebook participants in collecting observations on your target species.

Through Nature’s Notebook, the USA-NPN offers scientifically-vetted data collection protocols and infrastructure, mechanisms to quickly reach out to hundreds to thousands of potential contributors, and online data download and visualization tools. In return, USA-NPN requests that partnering researchers provide Nature’s Notebook participants that contribute to their effort with periodic updates and summaries to demonstrate value of their efforts.

Landing page for your organization

The USA-NPN National Coordinating Office may be able to host and maintain a basic page on the USA-NPN website for your organization. These pages serve as a mechanism for members of an organization to become familiar with other phenology-related activities already taking place within the organization as well as ways to share information among others within the organization. See examples of landing pages below. 

Interested? Contact

Current USA-NPN Collaborating Projects include:

  • Pollen Trackers —The Pollen Trackers campaign is led by Drs. Daniel Katz and Elizabeth Matsui at the University of Texas at Austin. The goal of the campaign is to collect data on pollen release in Juniperus ashei to lay the foundation for a regional pollen alert system for "cedar fever."
  • Pesky Plant Trackers —The Pesky Plant Trackers campaign is a partnership with the University of Minnesota's Department of Forest Resources funded by the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center. The goal of the campaign is to collect data on initial growth, flowering, and fruiting of three non-native species in the Midwest and Northeast - wild parsnip, Japanese knotweed, and Bohemian knotweed. These data will be used to understand relationships between accumulated temperature and life cycle events and then build models to predict the timing of these events to inform management.
  • Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Phenology Project —Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) is an aphid-like invasive forest pest that lives, feeds, and reproduces exclusively on hemlock trees (genus Tsuga). A deeper understanding of the life cycle of HWA can tell managers where and when to release biocontrol insects, where to monitor for biocontrol establishment, and allow them to track HWA responses to different climate factors in the field.The New York State Hemlock Initiative seeks to engage citizen scientists in submitting observations on HWA to fill in the gaps in data. 
  • Walking with Wildflowers —Walking with Wildflowers is a program started by researchers at UC Berkeley that is dedicated to monitoring plant phenology along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) using observations from hikers and backpackers. The main goal of the project is to determine whether plant species are able to respond to changing climatic conditions and better understand how plants use seasonal cues to time flowering. 
  • Dogwood Genome Project—The Dogwood Genome Project is an effort led by researchers at the University of Georgia to identify variation in the phenology of flowering dogwood varieties and investigate the genes that may be influencing the timing of leaf-out, flowering and leaf-fall.  
  • Tucson Buffelgrass Monitoring Network—USGS scientists are collaborating with the USA-NPN to monitor "green-up" in invasive buffelgass. Buffelgrass is a perennial grass that threatens desert ecosystems by out-competing native species and altering fire regimes. Managers have concluded that efforts to eradicate buffelgrass must include applications of herbicide, which is only effective if applied when the buffelgrass is green. 

Completed USA-NPN Collaborating Projects include:

  • Southwest Season Tracker—Southwest Season Tracker was created to bolster the efforts of  USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) scientists to assess and improve performance of models that predict timing of seasonal activity in common shrub and grass species. Observationswill be used to verify predicted dates of start and end of the growing season based on an ongoing six-year study of plant phenology on the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico.
  • Shady Invaders—Shady Invaders was created by researchers at Penn State University to explore the timing of leaves on invasive and native shrubs. The goal of the project was to start to quantify Extended Leaf Phenology on a regional scale to understand how or if increased shading is actually impacting deciduous forest ecosystems.
  • PopClock—Researchers at the University of Maryland worked to identify genes that could ensure tree survival as the climate changes, especially as spring occurs earlier and summer becomes warmer. As part of this effort, they are comparing ground-based observations of spring leaf emergence and fall color change, collected via Nature's Notebook, to satellite images, which they are using to create maps of “green-up” and “green-down” across large landscapes.
  • Juniper Pollen Project—The purpose of this effort was to model pollen release and concentrations. Improved models support health decisions for asthma and allergy alerts, augment the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Environmental Public Health Tracking Network and extend survellance services to local heathcare prociders subscribing to the Syndrome Reporting Information System (SYRIS)
  • Pawpaw Growers - The North American Pawpaw Growers Association (NAPGA) is partnering with The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) to provide an online database to encourage phenological monitoring of pawpaws in North America. Researchers hope to track the changes in distribution and life stages of North American pawpaws and provide a multi-year varietal study to improve yield, flavor, and storage characteristics.