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The Connection
Issue Fall 2013

banner red fall leaves cropped and resized


It's fall! Back to school, cooler weather, and the leaves changing color. I'm looking forward to seeing the jump in submissions to Nature's Notebook...after spring, fall is the most popular season for reporting phenological activity in plants and animals. No wonder, it's so pretty!


Speaking of observations, I have to give you all a big congratulations and thanks. As of this message, we've had well over 1,000 people submitting observations to
Nature's Notebook so far this year. This success is no doubt in due to your hard efforts on the ground.

Thank you!


An important reminder, especially for those of you who engage visitors, students, and volunteers in taking phenology observations: you do not have to submit observations on all of the phenophases listed on a protocol. If it seems too daunting, just choose a few that are most relevant to your programming, like leaves, open flowers, and ripe fruits. Likewise, the intensity and abundance estimates are optional too. We sure don't want to lose observers simply because it seems that we are asking too much!


There's lots to share with you in this newsletter. But most importantly, thank you for your interest, support, and continued involvement!



What's in this e-newsletter

And more! 


What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN

young business woman at big table
fundingStay abreast of phenology-related funding opportunities 

We completely understand - you'd love to do more, but are limited by your available resources. Unfortunately, we can't offer you money, but we can help you find others who may. Check out our new Funding Opportunities tool. 

reportsNew paper out on Nature's Notebook

A recent paper in Biological Conservation describes the data resources and tools that the USA-NPN are creating and delivering to support natural resource management and increased understanding of climate change-induced alterations to plant and animal phenology. Check out this open-access article by Rosemartin et al., "Organizing phenological data resources to inform natural resource conservation". 


2012 Nature's Notebook data summary available
See what species have been most monitored, how many observers submitted data, which phenophases are most reported, and more in this summary of the data submitted to Nature's Notebook in 2012. Very helpful if you are interested in downloading and using data from the National Phenology Database! 


educatorAre you an educator? 

If so, we'd love to know! Do you have a site such as a school, college, nature center, or park and are you thinking about implementing Nature's Notebook into your broader programming goals? We have resources for you to get started. Join the growing community of educators using Nature's Notebook, share some ideas, and sign up for our Educator's newsletter on the USA-NPN Education resources page


USA-NPN Geographic Affiliates geogaffIs your organization represented on the USA-NPN website?

The Geographic Affiliates map allows you to register your effort and connect with others that are tracking phenology in your region. Make sure you appear on the map! 

Happenings in the field of phenology

Cloned Plant Project Logo
Recent reports you may find useful... 

The National Wildlife Federation published Shifting Skies: Migratory Birds in a Warming World this past summer; this report summarizes expected impacts of climate change on migratory birds in the U.S. 


The Xerces Society recently published a guide to central U.S. milkweeds.


Article in Int'l Journal of Biometeorology uses Nature's Notebook data  

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee evaluated phenotypic plasticity in cloned and common plants across large spatial ranges.

Liang, L and M D Schwartz (2013) "Testing a growth efficiency hypothesis with continental-scale phenological variations of common and cloned plants." Int'l J Biometeorology.  


dogwoodFree plants! Are you interested in observing a cloned dogwood? 

We are looking for more organizations or individuals to plant and track phenology on cloned dogwoods (Cornus florida 'Appalachian spring'). We can provide the plants to you at no cost, if you can commit to tracking them via Nature's Notebook. If you're interested in this opportunity, ensure dogwoods grow in your region by checking this map, and then email


More ways to get involved

meeting meetingsUpcoming meetings

Our education coordinator, LoriAnne Barnett, will be hosting a booth and also giving a presentation at the meeting.

Phenology fans residing in the southwestern US: join us for a day of posters and presentations on the most recent phenology research (Friday, October 11, 2013). Dr. Stephen Jackson, Director of the Southwest Climate Science Center, will be the keynote speaker. Meeting details and call for abstracts.  


Partners in Community Forestry & Society for Municipal Arborists - Pittsburgh, PA - Nov 5-7  

I will be presenting at both of these meetings, describing and demonstrating how Nature's Notebook can be a valuable tool for arborists, forest managers, and tree planting organizations.


American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting - San Fransisco, CA - Dec 9-13 

Several sessions at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting integrate various facets of phenology. Be sure to check them out.  


We hope to see you at these events!  

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Theresa Crimmins / 520.622.0363 / / bio
Thank you! 
Thanks for being part of the USA-NPN community! It's great to have you here. Enjoy the fall, and look for your upcoming issue of The Connection, USA-NPN's quarterly e-newsletter, in a few months.