Issue: Summer 2018


We're excited to tell you about a brand new resource available on the USFWS Phenology Network website - our new Long-term Changes in the Start of Spring Tool shows how the onset of spring has changed at your refuge over the last 100 years. This tool is based on research just published in PLOS One by authors from the US Geological Survey and USA-NPN. 

We hope you find this tool useful for better understanding how the timing of spring is changing over time at your refuge, and how these changes fit into the larger scale of migratory flyways and the North American continent. 



USFWS Liaison
Education Coordinator
Phenology on the Refuges
A century of change in spring at NWRs
We know that the timing of spring is changing. What does that mean for migratory birds? A new study from USA-NPN and USGS researchers published in PLOS One finds that in recent decades, spring is arriving extremely early in half of  national  wildlife refuges. These changes are not consistent across migratory flyways, with spring  advancing significantly   earlier in the north for most flyways. You can also explore the  findings on our new Long-term Changes in the Start of Spring Tool (more on that below)
Photo: Becky Larkins, USFWS
Apply for a phenology workshop at your Refuge
Are you interested in implementing a phenology monitoring program at your Refuge? USA-NPN is taking applications for a free in-person, 2 day workshop that will be held right at your Refuge. Our staff will help you to design and implement a phenology monitoring program that can be carried out by professional and/or citizen scientist observers. 

Photo: Greg Schechtervia via Wikimedia Commons
Explore phenology data from Sevilleta NWR
Sevilleta NWR is one of our refuge partners that has set up an informative phenlogy dashboard on the USFWS Phenology Network website. Their Dashboard displays visualizations of the data they are collecting on New Mexico whiptails, western whiptails, eastern cottonwood, and other focal species. These dashboards are available to any refuge that uses Nature's Notebook for phenology data collection. 

Resources for our Refuge Partners
Explore long-term changes in the start of spring at your Refuge 

A new tool on the USFWS Phenology Network website allows exploration of the findings in the recent PLOS One paper on change in spring across the National Wildlife Refuge System and migratory flyways. 

For each refuge, find out the average spring leaf onset in recent decades, how recent decades stack up to the last century, and how the refuge fits into the patterns seen across its migratory flyway. 

Untrained observers record high-quality data 

In order to better understand precision and accuracy in phenology data collection and how that varies by training level, researchers at Acadia National Park's Schoodic Institute compared data from three different observer types - expert professional scientists, trained citizen scientists, and untrained citizen scientists. The authors found that untrained citizen scientists recorded data that was as precise and sometimes more accurate  than trained citizen scientists, likely due to a  misinterpretation of materials  presented at trainings. The authors  recommend that informative datasheets,  mid-season assessments  and calibration trainings may help to ensure high- quality data. 

What's New at USA-NPN
You're invited to our 10-year anniversary event
Join the National Coordinating Office in Tucson, AZ on October 19th to reflect on the last 10 years of the USA-NPN and envision the next 10. The event will include a symposium with    presentations from 10 partners from across the country, a reception    highlighting Local Phenology Programs, and other activities to foster    s   haring and new collaborations among our partners. RSVP to   by September 14th.    

Can't attend the event? Take part from afar!

There are two different ways you can participate: 
1. Send us a photo of your program! These can be photos of observers, workshops, outreach events or other activities.  Send your photo (with photo credit), description/quote, and the name of your program. Please ensure that any volunteers in photos have signed photo releases. These will be displayed on a slideshow during the event reception. 

2. Send us any phenology-related poster that you use to tell others about your program! These can be posters displaying results of your data collection efforts, describing your outreach activities, or any other description of your phenology-related efforts. Just  send us the digital file and  we will print it. We will be hanging these in a special poster area for the event. 

We look forward to showing off your programs to the USA-NPN community this October! 

Email your photos and posters to Erin »
Apply for the new PhenoChampion Award

You still have a few days to apply for the  Local Phenology Program PhenoChampion Award ! We seek to recognize the outstanding achievements of our Local Phenology Program Partners. The award program is open to any LPP that actively collected observational data using Nature's Notebook in 2017. The grand prize includes your choice of a customized trail sign or a Nature's Notebook gear package for your observers! Application packets are due Friday, September 14th. 

Learn more »
Upcoming Events
Citizen Science Association Conference

The Citizen Science Association biennial conference will be held in Raleigh, NC March 13-17, 2019. Requests for abstracts are now open for presentations and posters. Consider submitting a presentation about your  Nature's Notebook  activities! Deadline is September 21, 2018.

Learn more » 
Stay Connected
Erin Posthumus
US Fish & Wildlife Service Liaison and Outreach Coordinator
LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator
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