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Education Quarterly
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Issue Fall 2013


Greetings!

 

Fall is here - one of the best times to get out and make phenology observations! If you are an educator at a school, university, park or nature center, I'm sure you are back in the swing of the fall semester and having a great time.  Consider adding a Nature's Notebook component to your long-term program or education plan.  Set it up so that students can continue to enter observations, not only this year, but for years to come.  We have some great resources to help you get started.  

Look for Nature's Notebook Educators at some exciting upcoming meetings and events this fall:

Best wishes, 

 

 What's in this e-newsletter

 

newWhat's New? New Education Resources

Hot off the presses! We've got some great resources for you.  

Our team has revised the How to Observe Handbook.  This resource provides guidance on how to:
            • set up your site outdoors 
            • how to set up your site online 
            • how to collect phenology observations and 
            • how to enter them into Nature's Notebook
Download the guide (or an abridged guide online) to share with your students and participants.    

We've also created some information sheets to help you get started. You can find some general guidelines on how to get started in your Grades 5-8 Classroom, Grades 6-12 Classroom, University-level Course, and at your Nature Center or local park.   Want to create a shared site to which anyone can contribute data OR with which you can track users who have contributed data (perfect for a course requiring participation)? We can help you incorporate Nature's Notebook into your education plan. 

There are also some great, new activities and lesson plans for Nature's Notebook coming online this fall, including a full lesson plan for implementing a monitoring program in your formal education setting and a suite of workshop resources for training volunteers in a non-formal or informal setting.  

Coming in the next few months: A Botany 101 guide and a Phenophase Primer, so stay tuned!
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Resources from the field

Join the conversation!
 
We've created a phenology educators listserv just for you.  This list is for discussion related to using phenology as an educational tool in formal, non-formal, and informal settings. It is not necessarily specific to using Nature's Notebook.  Join us and share your ideas for using phenology to teach climate and science literacy, teach subjects other than science and natural resources, share your experiences and let us know about your upcoming courses, workshops, and impacts.  

If you'd like to subscribe to this list, visit this website: Phenology-Educators Listserv and enter your email address.  If you need help or that doesn't work, email us at education@usanpn.org.  The conversation will be starting soon!

 

Free plants! Are you interested in observing a cloned lilac or dogwood? 

 

We are looking for more schools, organizations or individuals to plant and track phenology on cloned lilacs and dogwoods
 
Participating in this project, or one of our other campaigns, next spring is a great way to engage your participants in a long-term project and provides opportunities to compare what you see at your site to others across the US. Plan to do that now so you'll be ready when it is time to monitor the spring leaf out and flowering!
 
We can provide the dogwood plants to you at no cost, if you can commit to tracking them via Nature's Notebook. Lilacs can be ordered from our partner nursery.  If you're interested in these opportunities, ensure lilacs and dogwoods grow in your region by checking this map on the left or visiting the website by clicking on the photo. Then email sharon@usanpn.org and let her know your name and your organization affiliation.  
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Program ideas

Teaching Change and Building Partnerships
 

Looking for some ideas on how to create a sustainable phenology monitoring program and involve some local groups? Take a look at the two-day, one-night experiential program some of our partners developed in cooperation with the Friends Group at the Hakalau Forest NWR near Hilo, Hawai'i. 

 
This program combines classroom time and field immersion experiences for underserved middle school youth.  Alongside professionals, participants observe sensitive and culturally important species and learn how to record phenology observations in Nature's Notebook. The data they collect will be used by wildlife refuge managers to make important management decisions for years to come.
 
An added benefit to creating this type of program is that it facilitates a long-term partnership between a host of local organizations and schools with similar programmatic goals. In engaging youth and volunteers they are developing a long-term dataset and lasting connections to achieve their collective missions, visions, and impacts. For more information, take a peek at their brochure and poster presented at the Hawai'i Conservation Conference, the Hawai'i Environmental Education Symposium, and the Hawai'i Science Teachers Annual Fall Meeting. They are currently hosting teacher training workshops to involve more teachers and classrooms in this great hands-on STEM experience. If you are in Hawai'i, check it out! If not, consider creating a similar partnership with a National Wildlife Refuge near you. Great work team!
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