We know from experience that the Local Phenology Leaders who help their groups track phenology with Nature's Notebook are a valuable resource. Now, these leaders - maybe you are one of them! - can earn a certification for these efforts! Beginning in September, we will offer an eight-week Local Phenology Leader Certification online course. 

For those of you who are old hands, we have some fresh resources to tell you about - check out our new Basic Botany and Intensity Estimation quizzes and photo-illustrated phenophase guides below!




What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
New botany and phenophase intensity quizzes
Learn about basic botany and estimating intensity for Nature's Notebook, and then test your new skills! Our new quiz series, Basic Botany and Intensity Estimation, is composed of 5 parts, each focusing on a different type of intensity question. Learn how to estimate number of breaking leaf buds, percent canopy, and amount of pollen released. 

The quizzes will be available in a few short weeks, but in the meantime, 
watch the intro video that explains why we select particular phenophases, 
and the resources available to you for estimating intensity.  

Phenophase photo guides from the NYPP
The New York Phenology Project, one of our superstar Regional Phenology Networks, has created some very useful phenophase guides they would like to share. They've developed photo-illustrated guides for 38 species that are commonly found in the Northeast. 

Looking for species from other parts of the country? The California Phenology Project and Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge have created guides for species found in the Southwest. 
Recent happenings in the field of phenology
Your observations validate satellite data 

While there is great potential in linking data collected by observers on the ground and data collected by remote satellites, few studies have successfully combined them. Researchers from the Appalachian Laboratory at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science 
did just that, implementing quality control procedures to combine 
observations of leaf phenology collected through the Nature's Notebook 
PopClock campaign to continental-scale satellite imagery collected by 
the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS).  
Your observations help manage invasive grass
Photo: desertmuseum.org

Buffelgrass, an invasive perennial grass that out-competes natives, threatens to transform the current Sonoran desert landscape. Managers need to treat buffelgrass with herbicides when the plant is at least 50% green. The authors of a new study in the journal Remote Sensing found that buffelgrass responds quickly to rain, with plant green up occurring twice as fast in areas with buffelgrass than areas with mostly native vegetation. This information will help managers know the best time to get out to spray buffelgrass. Studies such as this, which integrate 
on-the-ground observations of phenology with satellite data, demonstrate 
the power of multiple data sources to inform management activities.
More ways to get involved
Second Summer podcast: Beth Surdut
Writer and artist Beth Surdut knows that the best way to learn about the natural world is to slow down and pay attention to your surroundings. In our second summer podcast, Beth sits down with USA-NPN Education Coordinator LoriAnne Barnett to talk about her recommendations for observing and how most of her critter stories start with asking "I wonder..."

Photo: Brian F Powell
What is your learning preference?

We have a lot of information that we regularly share with you, including patterns in phenology recorded in Nature's Notebook, summaries from our campaigns, tutorials on new tools, and more!

How do you like to receive this information? Do you love webinars? Hate infographics? Like watching instructional videos, but only if they're short? Let us know in this 2-question survey! 
Take the survey

Photo: Jeff Schad
MnPN's Backyard Phenology

The Minnesota Phenology Network is at it again, engaging the public in a new program called Backyard Phenology! Citizen scientists can carry a phenology passport to different workshops and events around the Twin Cities, learn how to upload their observations of phenology to Nature's Notebook, and visit the Climate Chaser, a silver camper filled with information about phenology. 
Learn more

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
Photo: Brian F Powell
Become a Certified Local Phenology Leader

Starting this September, we are offering our first Certified Local Phenology Leader online course! The course will walk you through how to create a Local Phenology Project that is customized for your needs. By the end of the course, you will have a program plan, materials to advertise your project to potential volunteers, and the knowledge to get started observing phenology with your group. The course will run from Sep 12-Nov 4th, with an expected commitment of 
2-3 hours a week. The course is filling up fast, email us to save your spot! 

Certified leaders will receive a certificate and public recognition on the 
Nature's Notebook website. 

Are you an experienced LPL looking for an honorary certification? Email us 
and we'll discuss how you can earn one!

Phenology Trails Guide just got a refresh

We've just updated our Phenology Walk and Trail Guide. This is a step-by-step guide on how to design and implement a series of Nature's Notebook observation sites that are connected by an outreach, science or management goal.

Get tips on how to successfully start off your Trail, find out where to get resources like Trail signs and markers, and learn how to test whether your Trail is ready to share with volunteers.
Tricky volunteer management scenarios

We've been asking some expert LPLs what they would do in certain scenarios that often plague volunteer managers. Their answers might surprise you! 

This month, we highlight ways to keep your volunteers engaged by sharing results from the data they have collected:
  • "Use the Visualization Tool to show the volunteers the value and usefulness of their results"
  • "Create a table-top display or a PowerPoint presentation using the data collected" 
  • "Share information via social media or a blog to tell them why the data are important"
  • "Provide monthly updates via a newsletter, with information about USA-NPN data in general and progress reports on the group's data, in a form that is visual and interesting"
  • "Bring in a scientist to give a fun and informative talk about how similar data are used, and how their data may be used by scientists in the future"
  • "Teach the volunteers how to explore the data by themselves"

Erin Posthumus 
Outreach Coordinator
 LoriAnne head shot
LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator