Education Quarterly
Nature's Notebook logo
Issue Summer 2013

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Mammalaria grahamii after monsoon rain
The USA-NPN Education team has been busy conducting teacher-training workshops, providing guidance on setting up shared monitoring sites, and creating a series of curriculum for release this fall.  Many of you have expressed interest in learning about setting up a Nature's Notebook program.  We are excited to help you get started on a long-term monitoring project!


All of the resources you need to get started can be found on our workshops and education pages, so take a minute to check them out! I'm here to help, so let me know if you need it.


In the meantime, stay cool and enjoy whatever fun and phenophase beauty this season brings.  Best wishes!  







What's New- Quick-start Guides for Nature's Notebook
Resources From the Field - Digital Cameras & Phenology in Class
Program Ideas- USFS Mount St. Helens Nat'l Volcanic Monument


This summer our team will be at the following meetings: 


 Palm Desert, CA
August 4-10, 2013
Minneapolis, MN
September 16-20, 2013
Pittsburgh, PA
Hope to see you there!
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What's New?


We are developing quick-start guides to implementing 
Nature's Notebook in a variety of settings.  Check out our Publications - Reports page for details on how you can use 
Nature's Notebook in a: 
  • 6th-12th grade classroom 
  • Higher education course 
  • Park or nature center 

Stay tuned this fall for more detailed instructions on the logistics of creating one of these long-term monitoring programs at your site in partnership with a science program.  


If you are involved with a US Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge as a staff person, visitor, or volunteer Friends' group, visit our new 


USFWS Phenology Network web portal


You'll find resources to get started with a science monitoring and outreach partnership at your Refuge. 
Resources From the Field

Take a peek at what some of our partners have been working on!  Troy Magney, Karla Eitel, Jan Eitel, Vincent Jansen, Jenny Schon, Rebecca Rittenburg, and Lee Vierling have created a series of science and learning activities aligned with the

Science and Engineering Practices of


This curricula offers ideas for utilizing digital cameras in the classroom to teach seasonal green up.  The activity can be paired with taking on-the- ground observations of phenological stages using

Nature's Notebook, and provides ideas for extending the activity to compare the data from the cameras and observations.  


For more information, or to order a copy of the article, visit the NSTA's website: NSTA Science Store

programProgram Ideas

Over the last few months I've had some wonderful conversations with site-based leaders interested in using
Nature's Notebook to link science staff and outreach staff efforts.  Most leaders are looking for ways to engage visitors in science and place-based research at their site.


We are working with the US Forest Service Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument  and the Mount St. Helens Institute on a Children's Forest Grant to engage youth in ecological research, citizen science, environmental stewardship, and outdoor recreation. 


We've discussed a four-audience approach to sharing a Nature's Notebook.  First we may create some (1) interpretive kiosk materials, including introductory videos (and perhaps podcasts), so visitors will be able to learn about seasonal changes and how they relate to reforestation on Mount St. Helens.  Second, we will develop curriculum materials for school groups and public programs visiting Mount St. Helens.  These materials will (2) engage public participants in the science of phenology and provide a methodology for collecting observations on select species along an interpretive trail. 


Simultaneously we may engage docents and volunteers in the phenology research on Mount St. Helens and (3) introduce them to the process of collecting observations in Nature's Notebook on our species of interest.  Those docents will in turn be poised to (4) lead public phenology walks on the grounds at the Visitor's Center, collect data if they so choose, and encourage visitors to check out Nature's Notebook at home. 


This methodology will serve as a multi-faceted model for engaging visitors. Other groups, such as the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the new Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (Friends of Valle de Oro Facebook page) in Albuquerque, NM, are considering taking a similar approach to involving the public, docents, and researchers.   You may choose to do the same. As we develop these materials we'll share them on the USA-NPN Partner Resource webpage.  Stay tuned!
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