USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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Earthwise Aware

Earthwise Aware (EwA) is a Nature conservation nonprofit in Massachusetts and the NPN addresses our standards for standardized scientific protocol rigor, global data, and open science. We focus on Biodiversity and how to protect it.

Concretely, we are dedicated/committed to bringing biodiversity knowledge, ecological ethics and environmental leadership at the core of communities and organizations / in the daily life of people.

One of our main outreach is through Co-creative Biodiversity & Climate citizen science programs to engage communities in helping, contributing to, collaborating in scientific endeavors.

Our citizen science principles are to:

  • Advance Biodiversity & Climate research
  • Give Science back to the people

Our Citizen Science pillars are:

  1. Species & ecosystems knowledge
  2. Ecological ethics
  3. Open and global science
  4. Democratization of science

We run several programs in Massachusetts. One of our programs happens at the Middlesex Fells Reservation (2800 acres of forested uplands and wetlands): ‘EwA at the Fells’. This is where we actively record via Nature’s notebook. We use other global platforms for other kinds of biodiversity recording. We collaborate with experts and scientists and study various habitats at different levels (species occurrence & abundance, phenology, plant community assessment, etc.). The intent is to build a continuous natural history of the place through habitat/species  surveillance/monitoring and phenology recording, and aligning as well with standards as developed by GEO BON (global biodiversity observation network). Our program at the Fells program engages its participants in observing birds, amphibians, insects, fungi, plants, etc. We also pay attention to the relationships between species and reflect on the meaning and implications of these relationships in relation to the forest, the cities around and further away. This intimate system-focused exploration helps to build a deep understanding of the place through rapid habitat-changing conditions and over time for the benefits of the Fells, its scientists, and ultimately our  communities.

There are several species that we are monitoring among which some rare or endangered species (and for which we record information for our local scientist connections).

With time and with a growing number of participants, we will increase the list of species we monitor.

City: 
Somerville, Medford, Winchester
State: 
MA
Plan to Use Nature's Notebook for:: 
Informing management
Answering science questions
Studying invasive species phenology
Studying migratory animals phenology
Studying pollinator phenology
Studying climate change impacts
Status and trends (or baseline) monitoring
Engaging the public
Contributing to a national effort
This LPP is working with students: 
More than 30 students: 
Under-served Communities: 
Involves indigenous communities: 
First Observation Date: 
July, 2018
Partner Group

2018 Impact Statement

Earthwise Aware (EwA) Biodiversity & Climate Citizen Science fills important biodiversity and phenology data gaps. Our projects are about co-creative conservation using open and global science protocols and tools -protocols that lead to comparable and usable data, accessible and transparent to scientists and the public worldwide.

For our phenology studies, we use Nature’s Notebook that we endorse for its rigor and openness. Specifically, we value the standardization effort of the protocol across the U.S., therefore, leading to outcomes that we -as well as anyone interested- can aggregate and compare with other institutions’ output. Scientific rigor and openness are critical to science, and this was a factor for adopting Nature’s Notebook.  

Since we started in 2018, we recorded about 15,000 data points, which aggregated with about 20,000 biodiversity records, start to establish a continuous natural history of the urban wildlife sites that we are studying. Our 'system' approach is unique and an acknowledged differentiator. Our model is inclusive and democratic; it bridges expertises and domains; it truly values the skills of its citizen scientists and networks, and enables genuine Open Science. As a result, we are witnessing a rapid increase in knowledge, awareness, skills, and aspirations of our citizen scientists.

2019 Impact Statement

EwA Biodiversity & Climate Citizen Science fills important biodiversity and phenology data gaps. EwA science projects are about co-creative conservation using open and global science protocols and tools. We support studies for which data follow protocols that lead to comparable and usable data. Data access is open and transparent to scientists and the public worldwide. Our perspective goes far beyond using the public as a resource to gather data while potentially educating the public. It is inclusive and democratic; it bridges expertizes and domains; it truly values the skills of its citizen scientists and networks, and it enables genuine Open Science.

As EwA Phenology is concerned, we use Nature’s Notebook protocol and platform that we endorse for its rigor and openness. Specifically, we approve of the standardization effort of the protocol across the U.S., therefore, leading to outcomes that we as well as anyone interested can aggregate and compare with other institutions’ output. Data rigor and openness are critical to science, and this was a definite factor for choosing to use Nature’s Notebook.

EwA’s program is young. Yet since we started we recorded about 18,000 data points, which aggregated with about 20,000 biodiversity occurrence and abundance records start to give a sense of the continuous natural history of the sites that we are studying. Our system approach is unique and an appreciated differentiator in our region. We also are witnessing first hand the increase of knowledge, awareness, skills, and aspirations  (KASA) of our citizen scientists and volunteers. Our model based on science democratization and the accessibility of our program to all communities make a difference while serving science.