The Connection
Issue Winter 2012

banner snowy forestGreetings!

I hope 2012 is treating you well so far. We are excited to be moving into spring, typically our busiest season. We've been working hard to improve services we can offer to partner groups such as yours, including "shared sites," smart phone apps for data collection, training materials, and additions to our species lists. Please give me a call or drop me a line if you'd like to discuss how we can best meet your needs!


What's in this e-newsletter

Upcoming Deadline: Conference on Public Participation in Scientific Research 

Updated USA-NPN Species List 

USA-NPN Science Team is Growing 

Partner Highlight - National Park Service 

USA-NPN Spring Campaign - Cloned Plants Project 

Black cherry data in Nature's Notebook are showing patterns 



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young woman winteraConference on Public Participation in Scientific Research

Deadline for poster abstracts is May 4


This August, the Ecological Society of America annual meeting in Portland, OR will be preceded by a conference on public participation in scientific research (PPSR). This landmark event will convene science researchers, project leaders, educators, technology specialists, evaluators, and others from across many disciplines (including astronomy, molecular biology, human and environmental health, and ecology) to discuss advancing the field of PPSR. We hope that all who are interested in the future of the field of PPSR will join us this August! View the meeting agenda


USA-NPN Annual Report CoverbUpdated USA-NPN Species List

 ~600 plant and ~200 animal species by April   


 By mid-April, we will offer protocols for  approximately 200 animal species and approximately 600 plant species. With the addition  of the batch of species currently in the works, we  hope that nearly everyone can find species to monitor from those on our list. We plan to  limit the addition of new species, emphasizing  observations on our 360 "core" species. 

 Explore our species list


 (Photo of Geranium Maculatum by H. Zell)



cUSA-NPN Science Team is Growing! 

Meet the people behind the science  


We are happy to share that we've had three very talented individuals join our science team recently. Kathy Gerst joined our team several months ago and works primarily as a liaison with the California Phenology Project. Jherime Kellerman is providing support to further the USA-NPN's science and data-oriented goals.


Stacy Leight-Young, Research Associate with the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, is working with USA-NPN Science Coordinator Carolyn Enquist to ensure the incorporation of phenological measures in current and future iterations of the National Climate Assessment (NCA). Led by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the NCA presents status and trends information on climate variation and its impact on people and ecosystems. The inclusion of phenological measures as key bioclimatic indicators of climate change impacts is an exceptional opportunity for the USA-NPN to demonstrate its broad relevance to society at the national level.   


dPartner Highlight  

National Park Service


The National Park Service and the USA-NPN have been working together for a number of years to integrate phenology monitoring in parks in several parts of the country. Parks across the country have been piloting phenology monitoring using Nature's Notebook. The justification for these efforts were recently documented in an article in Park Science. Details on our partnership are provided in a companion article.


Cloned Plant Project LogoeSpring Campaign to Start Soon
 Cloned Plants Project 


We welcome you to participate in the Cloned Plants Project by purchasing a cloned lilac or dogwood and making observations on it through Nature's Notebook. One way to tease apart genetic and environmental responses is to make observations on cloned plants. When researchers can take data from genetically identical plants across the country, they can better detect the climate change signal - without all the noise created by genetic variation.


You can purchase cloned lilacs through our friends at Jung's Nursery. Cloned dogwoods are currently only available through a wholesale nursery, and are purchased for a limited number of observers by the USA-NPN. If you live in the Southeast, and would like to observe a dogwood, please select "yes" to the "Request for Dogwood" field when you register or edit your account on our website. Learn more about the Cloned Plants Project now.


Map for winter 2012 observer newsletter fRevealing Nature's Notebook Data
Black cherry observations showing patterns 


Data contributed to the USA-NPN national phenology database through Nature's Notebook are beginning to show patterns. 


Click here to find out what they're suggesting...

Thank you for being part of the USA-NPN community. It's great to have you here. Enjoy the winter, and look for your upcoming issue of The Connection, USA-NPN's quarterly e-newsletter for partners, in a few months.