Nature's Notebook
Education Quarterly
Issue Fall 2012
Fall Maple
        Photo credit: L. Barnett


I can't believe it's already fall... Depending upon where you live, I'm sure there are many exciting changes happening around you.  Here in downtown Tucson our changes are more subtle than those in places with wonderful arrays of deciduous trees entering into dormancy, yet  when I pay attention to my surroundings I notice many things other than the weather turning a bit cooler and drier.    


I noticed the leaves on my ocotillo gradually turning yellow from the decrease in rainfall.  The Meyer Lemon I have in a pot has set fruit, after I had tons of fun watching the local honeybees pollinate the flowers.  Our white-winged doves have also left for warmer climes. The Anna's and Black-chinned hummingbirds continue to visit our feeders. 


In addition to observing I've spent some time over the last few months with my outreach assistant Arthur, organizing and launching a more direct approach to our local Tucson Phenology Trail.  We've created a Meet Up site to engage the community in phenological research and observation and held workshops at many of the participating partner organization sites.   The results of this work can be found on both the Partners and Educators webpages.   


Lastly, I'm very interested in creating a phenology education Community of Practice (CoP) to find and share resources, as well as to ask and answer questions about adding monitoring though Nature's Notebook into your program.  If you would, take a few minutes to answer five survey questions and provide feedback on how this might benefit you.   


I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and, if you are like me, as you cook you'll be thankful for seasonal harvests and be thinking about what life-cycle each of the main ingredients in your feast represents.   


Best wishes!  




Educational Tip of the Quarter

SPOTLIGHT on Volunteer and Site-based Training Programs

SPOTLIGHT on Nature's Notebook in the Classroom



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Nature's Notebook Educational Tip 

Program Planning

In the last edition of the newsletter I shared information about developing goals for implementing Nature's Notebook at a school or other site.  The next step is to think through a implementation plan.  Creating a vision and outlining not only the goals, but the 'how' and 'what' of the project will be helpful in gathering resources and acquiring partners, volunteers, and measuring shared successes.       


I've created a Program Planning worksheet to help you think through what your program may look like with the addition of Nature's Notebook  to your outcomes.  I'm also in the process of developing other resources you may find valuable for site-based programs, such as interpretive walk guidelines, tips for evaluation.  I am always teaching local workshops, which helps me to find better ways to implement and share Nature's Notebook.  You can find copies of my presentations on our Workshop webpage. Feel free to use my power point slides, and definitely provide me feedback or send changes you'd like to see.  

Volunteer and Site-based Training Programs   

New site-based training resource


Many of our partners are interested in implementing phenology at a site where community and public engagement are part of their mission.  We've developed a Phenology Trail Implementation Guide to help design and establish either a phenology walk at one location, or create a community wide series of sites linked together for people to visit and collect phenology data via Nature's Notebook.   


This guide can be found on our Phenology Trails webpage, where you will also find a link to a planning worksheet, a completed worksheet to use as a guide, and tips from the field from a site that has added such a program.    

Nature's Notebook in the Classroom and Beyond

Phenology education online:
Using technology to share experiences and create community

Photo credit: S. Schaffer
As the USA-NPN Education Coordinator I am very interested in searching for and sharing resources and lesson plans that practitioners in the field have developed
to best meet the needs of their learners.  As most educators know, developing curricula is a work of art - every time the class is taught, changes are made to the content and final product based on feedback and discussion.  Each class has its own life-cycle.   

My role is to help develop curriculum for formal and non-formal courses, and also to highlight the great work already being done.  Since I don't work with any one group of students, rather I work with everyone's students, I hope my expertise in the field of education can be a valuable resource to you. 

I've been spending some time each week searching the web, reading Google alerts
set to share "Phenology", and reading articles about Communities of Practice (CoP).  I'm very interested in finding phenology education work from colleagues, as well as developing an online conversation about how we can better implement phenology in a variety of settings. 

There are lots of great examples of phenological course communities out there already!  I've seen websites, blogs, Google groups, RSS feeds, and  

I've been in touch with educators as I find such gems and am sharing what I find on our either our Education webpage if the curricula uses Nature's Notebook as a platform, or our Educator's Clearinghouse (under construction) if it more broadly touches on phenology and education. If you have a resource to share or know of one out there, please share it with me so I can share it with others.   Take a few minutes to answer my survey in the sidebar to share your ideas about how we, as a community of phenology educators, can best share information.  
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LoriAnne Barnett     p 520.622.0363   [email protected]
@loriannebarnett on Twitter