Despite the odd weather in some parts of the country, spring is springing! We know this here at the National Coordinating Office because the observations keep rolling in. Last week, someone submitted the 7 millionth observation to the National Phenology Database! 

You can read more about the milestones you helped to achieve in our just-released 2015 Annual Report

Thank you for all that you do to keep growing the database. Below, we have some new resources for you that we hope will help you continue to recruit, train and retain our wonderful Nature's Notebook observers. 

Also, don't forget to celebrate National Citizen Science Day, this Saturday April 16th!



What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
New NN badges for your
observation efforts
We've rolled out some new badges this spring to encourage your observers to keep their observations coming! In addition to three badges for our new campaigns, we also added badges for making observations with a Nature's Notebook group, for reporting intensity on phenophases, and for making weekly observations for at least 12 consecutive weeks in the same year. To see the badges, open the Badge tab at the top of your Observation Deck.

Improvements to phenophase definitions
We've made small changes to some of the Nature's Notebook phenophase definitions to make them easier to follow. Definitions for colored leaves, flowers or flower buds, and initial growth will now be even more clear - taking the guesswork out of making your observations.

We've also added several new species for you to track this year, including some long-awaited mammals, ants, beetles, cicadas and grasshoppers.   

smartphone_stocks.jpg Helpful tip sheet for NN mobile apps
Do you need more guidance on how to use the Nature's Notebook mobile apps? These helpful tip sheets, illustrated with screencaps from the apps, explain how to make observations, add a new site, and more.

Recent happenings in the field of phenology
NN observations validate oak leaf-out models
Photo: California Phenology Project

Researchers from Princeton, Chapman University, and UCLA developed models of valley oak leaf-out under past and future climate scenarios to test how changing the spatial scale of these models affects leaf-out. The authors used data collected by the California Phenology Project, which began in 2010 and is part of the USA National Phenology Network, to validate their models of valley oak leaf-out before downscaling the models to create local predictions of leaf-out.
More ways to get involved
More phenology on the radio!

Listen to phenologist David Inouye and our own Executive Director Jake Weltzin talk with Jake Ryan of Western Colorado's KVNF about phenology. They discuss mismatches caused by shifting phenology, unpredictable weather, and how we can adapt to these changes. 
Listen to the story

Wondering about wind pollination?

This blog post from the Arnold Arboretum sheds some light on plants that are pollinated not by insects or birds but by the wind. These plants have special adaptations to ensure the best spread of their pollen. Learn to identify them so that you can report "pollen release" with confidence! 

Recognize Youth for Environmental Leadership

Do you know a youth who has demonstrated outstanding leadership working to solve environmental challenges? The Brower Youth Award will recognize 6 recipients with a $3,000 cash prize. Applications due May 16th.
Learn more
Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
New video resources to recruit participants

In an attempt to keep up with the changing times, we've started developing some video resources here at the National Coordinating Office. This spring we created 4 videos that describe the importance of our campaigns. We also started a video series that will feature interviews with Nature's Notebook observers. We hope these will be useful tools for recruitment and training for your groups. 

Photo: Brian F Powell
Phenology lesson plans for middle, high school, and higher ed teachers 
We have three examples to share with you of how to implement phenology monitoring in your higher-ed classroom. Each example can be used in a single semester, to engage students in making observations with Nature's Notebook for 4-8 weeks. 

We also have a lesson plan for middle and high school educators to create a 6-week monitoring program. Students have the option of becoming a "Certified Junior Phenologist" at the end of the program. Use these plans to jump start a long-term phenology program that you can use with your classes over multiple years. 

Botany Primer resource for Nature's Notebook

Do you have your copy of the Botany Primer yet? This is an excellent resource to find the answers to the basic botany questions that inevitably come up while making your Nature's Notebook observations


Erin Posthumus 
Outreach Coordinator
 LoriAnne head shot
LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator