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The Connection
Issue Spring 2014


It's hard to believe that it is spring again already...I sure hope it's starting to look like spring where you are. What a winter it has been!


We are excited to be working with you in 2014, it's amazing for us to report that we now recognize 127 partnering institutions and organizations on our website! Be sure your organization is represented, and that our description is accurate. It's thanks to your efforts that we are all successful!


In an attempt to better serve you, we're making one rather dramatic change to our newsletters. We are no longer creating separate "Education Newsletters" for those of you that undertake education-oriented efforts. Rather, we're incorporating the content into these Partners Newsletters, under the subheading, "Especially for Local Phenology Leaders." We are also working on ways to improve communications among these groups, including launching a listserv, reorganizing content on our website, and offering webinars specific for you. Read more about these efforts below, and join the conversation!


Looking forward to seeing what the 2014 growing season will bring! 




What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
We've recently updated our Partners Page. If we missed you, please let me know and I will add your organization. We also want to ensure that project descriptions are accurate - let me know if you'd like anything changed or updated.

USA-NPN is a DataONE Member Node  
DataONE connects multiple data repositories in a federated network to provide integrated search and discovery and to provide replication services to the data repositories within the federation. Data are stored, and made visible, by the individual data repositories. We are proud to be a DataONE Member Node and make the data in the National Phenology Database available through this resource.

2013 USA-NPN Annual Report available
Check out what you've made possible in our 2013 Annual Report!
USA-NPN observation protocols published 
A complete description of the USA-NPN protocols is now available in an open-access article in the International Journal of Biometeorology. These protocols are a part of Nature's Notebook, but can be used independently of the program. 
Happenings in the field of phenology 
The plant monitoring protocols used by the California Phenology Project include detailed instructions on how to carry out plant phenological monitoring in National Parks and other units. The protocol includes information on optimal frequency of data collection and sample size as well as guidance on how to select target taxa, select and establish monitoring locations, recruit and train observers, and more.  

Extended Spring Indices (SI-x) selected as an indicator for the National Climate Assessment
The vision for the National Climate Assessment (NCA) is to create a system of indicators that will help inform policy-makers and citizens understand key aspects of our changing climate. Scientific information about physical climate conditions, climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and preparedness will be tracked and compiled. The USA-NPN's Extended Spring Indices (SI-x) were recently selected as one of these national-scale indicators.

More ways to get involved 
International Congress of Biometeorology Meeting
The 20th International Congress of Biometeorology will be held in Cleveland, OH 28 Sep -1 Oct. Abstracts are open until 28 May for this meeting, themed "Adaptation to Climate Risks." Learn more.

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
This new section is dedicated to resources and opportunities specifically for individuals that organize and lead groups of people in observing phenology, in either a scientific, education or outreach capacity. We are constantly improving the ways that we support our Local Phenology Leaders - we know how important your work is!
Join the new Local Phenology Leader listserv! 
Join the conversation with other Local Phenology Leaders. We'll discuss topics like how to get a long-term citizen science monitoring project started, how to keep participants engaged, how to mark your sites, how to access and use your data, and more. We'd also like for you to share some ideas as well as barriers to participation with everyone.  Join the listserv by sending an email to [email protected] with the words "Subscribe local-phenology-leaders YourFirstName YourLastName" in the subject line. Be sure to DELETE any text in the body of the message, including signature lines. You will then receive a welcome message from the listserv. If you have trouble, email [email protected] and we will subscribe you manually.  
To post to the list of subscribers, send an email to [email protected].

Webinars especially for Local Phenology Leaders 
One of the things we've added to Nature's Notebook in 2014 is a series of webinars for participants to learn more about what findings are coming from the program, specifics on how to participate, and more. We've dedicated a few of these webinars to Local Phenology Leaders, to address your specific needs. The first of these webinars took place a few weeks ago - you can watch the recording if you missed it. There is another scheduled for Sept 2, which will showcase some of your efforts. We'll remind as it gets closer, and if you're interested in being one of the efforts that is showcased, let us know! Recordings for all of the webinars are available on the USA-NPN YouTube page

Thinking about starting a phenology project in your area?

Nature's Notebook is a great tool for answering questions about the timing of plant and animal life cycle events. Projects looking at pollination, fruit harvesting and leaf fall are emerging at schools, parks and nature centers across the country. It is also an excellent way to teach observation skills and conduct hands-on, experiential, place-based education. Learn how to get started.  

Prepare volunteers for seasonal observations
We've got a number of training resources available online for getting your volunteers up to speed and jazzed about participating in Nature's Notebook. Check out our Educational Resources at Share with us any other ideas you might have for creating long-term monitoring projects at your site. Develop some of your own local science questions or participate in one of our regional campaigns!

Phenology Days: September 28 - October 4, 2014
Here in Tucson we've decided to set aside some time to celebrate phenology projects across our region.  We will be hosting a "Phenology Days" event during the week of September 28 -  October 4, including events held at all of our participating Tucson Phenology Trail sites and a keynote event and picnic on Saturday, October 4th.  Want to host something similar in your region? It is a great way to engage people in phenology and observing in Nature's Notebook.  If you do choose to host an event, let us know on the listserv!
USA-NPN logo   
Theresa Crimmins 
Partnerships & Outreach Coordinator 
  LoriAnne head shot
LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator
[email protected]