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Observer Newsletter - Summer 2011
In This Issue
Seasonal Update: Phenology-related news
What's New at USA-NPN
Grassroots Opportunity for You
Join the conversation!

Quick Links


Now that summer is in full swing, it's time for a few seasonal highlights. But first thing's first.

Fantastic job!

Thank you for collecting and recording your observations of plants or animals using Nature's Notebook. It's fun for you (hopefully), and it's definitely important to scientists.

Your data allow researchers to better understand our changing planet and the effects on us and our environment.

Without further ado...
What's happening this summer?
Phenology-related updates
 Forest Fire Stock photo
When you collect and log your observations of plants or animals in Nature's Notebook, you make valuable data available to scientists. Researchers use that information to predict and curb threats to people and the environment in different areas, including these:

                                 *WILDFIRES & DROUGHT

Summertime is wildfire season: Heat plus dry land equal prime conditions for wildfires. Researchers are beginning to document relationships between the timing of spring lilac flowering, the timing of snow melt and the incidence of large wildfires. This season, almost the entire lower band of southern states has suffered from exceptional drought. One fire alone in Arizona has already had far-reaching effects, charring nearly 500 square miles in the state and sending smoke as far as Iowa. What's in store for your home state?



Phenological data helps predict seasonal flooding. Forecasters say this summer's flooding season may rival the worst in US history. Above-average rainfall is predicted for the Midwest, but there are a number of places at even greater risk. Find out if you live in a "highest risk" area for flooding this summer.



The timing of pollen release is a phenological event that we care a lot about. This summer is said to be one of the worst allergy seasons in recent history, thanks to a lack of rain to wash away all that accumulated pollen. If you suffer from allergies, there's a bit of bright news: Pollen counts this summer are expected to be lower than those we experienced last spring.

What's NEW at USA-NPN
Echo and LoriAnne, Blue Wall Background
L-R: Echo Surina and LoriAnne Barnett
Nice to meet you!
Besides plant and animal lifecycle events - what else changed this year as we transitioned from spring into summer?


We did!


Our team grew, and you now have two more people as points of contact here at the National Coordinating Office in Tucson. Call. Email. Or just stop by and give us a high-five. (We're not kidding, it will make our day.)


LoriAnne Barnett, Education Coordinator

Hi there, I coordinate USA-NPN's education activities and focus on engaging citizen scientists like you in phenology and the Nature's Notebook program. If you're affiliated with a formal or non-formal organization and would like USA-NPN to be a resource for you, please reach out to me.

Click here for LoriAnne's contact info or bio.  


Echo Surina, Communications Specialist 

Hello, hello! I'm the face behind a lot of the communications you get from us - from e-mails and newsletters to videos and phenology stories in the news. If you have questions, comments or feedback on any of it, I'm your gal! I'd love to hear from you (especially if you tell a joke about my name that I haven't heard before). I'm here to help make your experience richer and more enjoyable.

Click here for Echo's contact info or bio. 

NASA needs your help!

What do NASA, your runny eyes (thanks hay fever!)

and phenology have to do with each other?

 Juniper Pollen Project Logo 

It's a story you might know all too well.


Approximately 40 million people in the US have hay fever, a seasonal allergic reaction.


Allergies have no cure. But they can be managed. That's why NASA is spearheading the Juniper Pollen Project.


As one powerful force, citizen scientists like you all over the country gather data on juniper pollen.


This helps researchers predict and combat pollen counts - and the debilitating effect they can have on so many of us.


You're invited!
Join a passionate group of people who contribute to this leading grassroots project today.


Join the JPP project today by registering with USA-NPN's Nature's Notebook. For more info, find out about JPP now .
In the know... 
man and woman, middle aged, happy Best Rated Places for Allergies: Allergy Relief Tips Wherever You Go

Broadening the Study of Phenology and Climate Change

Stanford climate scientists forecast permanently hotter summers in 20 years

Keep up all the great work logging your valuable observations in Nature's Notebook! Thanks and we'll see you in the fall.
PS: Show you belong to the USA-NPN network of citizen scientists by clicking here to "like" USA-NPN on Facebook .
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