News & Publications

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USA-NPN Director featured on The Weather Channel

Sun, Jul 26, 2020

Spring leaf out is off to an early start this year in much of the Southeast. USA-NPN's Director Theresa Crimmins joined Jim Cantore and Stephanie Abrams on The Weather Channel on January 23, 2020 to talk about the implications of an early spring. Some locations are seeing spring leaf out three weeks ahead of normal (a long-term average of 1981-2010).

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Using phenology to improve invasive plant management

Thu, May 28, 2020

To better target the timing of control of invasive Vebesina enceliodes, a team of staff and volunteers at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge began collecting phenology data to identify how much time they had in between when the plant starts to grow and when it drops its seeds. After a year of data collection with Nature's Notebook, the team determined the number of days they could allow between treatments and adjusted their schedules accordingly. This study demonstrates the potential for data collected by volunteer scientists to inform ecological restoration.

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2020 Heat Accumulation vs Rodent Prognostication

Sun, Feb 02, 2020

Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year! Our maps of heat accumulation provide a more scientific look at how much heat has accumulated so far this year, and what's next. Heat accumulation is ahead of schedule in the Southeast, Northeast, and parts of the West, and more typical in Midwest states.

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Where there are flowers, there could be fire

Wed, Jan 29, 2020

Flowering in chamise, a widely distributed plant in fire-prone chapparal California, is a good indicator of fire risk. Data contributed to Nature’s Notebook helped researchers identify that a critical live fuel moisture threshold is crossed after the plant has flowered but before fruits have developed. Accordingly, managers can readily and inexpensively assess live fuel moisture status in these areas simply by looking at chamise flower and fruit status. This study shows the potential for phenology information from programs like Nature’s Notebook to inform critical management decisions.

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Urbanization advances phenology in cold regions but not warm ones

Mon, Nov 25, 2019

Authors of a new study using Nature's Notebook data found that in cold regions, urbanization leads to earlier leaf-out and flowering in plants. However, in warmer temperate and sub-tropical regions, urbanization delays leafing and flowering. The authors speculate several reasons for this difference, including a lack of winter chilling that some plants require, heat stress, or a greater influence of other aspects of urbanization besides heat. Phenology can serve as the “canary in the coal mine” for climate change impacts on our environment, so keep those Nature’s Notebook observations coming!

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2.5 million NEON records added to National Phenology Database

Thu, Nov 14, 2019

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) uses USA-NPN observational protocols to track plant phenology. In October of 2019, we ingested over 2.5 million phenology data records collected on more than 5,000 individual plants observed at 78 NEON sites collected between 2013-2019 into the USA-NPN's National Phenology Database. These data are reflected in the map of observation records below and are available for visualization and download.

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First ever Local Phenology Leader Clinic and Rally, Oct 2019

Sat, Oct 05, 2019

On October 4-5, 2019, the USA-NPN's National Coordinating Office (NCO) hosted the first Clinic designed specifically for Local Phenology Leaders (LPLs) working on long-term Local Phenology Programs (LPP) using Nature's Notebook. The Clinic was inspired by the gathering for the 10-year anniversary of the USA-NPN in October 2018, where many Leaders said they would welcome the opportunity to get together again in person and share id

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Citizen science programs help urban growers manage insects

Wed, Sep 25, 2019

Urban growers need information about how best to manage pests, for example, knowing when to apply a pesticide to have the least likelihood of impacting a beneficial pollinator. Data resulting from citizen science programs like Nature’s Notebook, iNaturalist, and eButterfly can support urban growers’ efforts to increase the presence of pollinators and other beneficial insects and decrease insect pests. Growers can use these platforms to support insect identification, store their data in a standardized format, compare their data to those from other farms, and predict when pests will be most vulnerable to treatment.