Issue: Spring 2023

Hello USA-NPN,

Are you seeing signs of spring in your area yet? If not, maybe you've seen the USA-NPN's spring maps in the news lately, such as in this beautiful visual from the Washington Post.

Our Return Interval map shows how often we see a spring like this year's. Darker colors in the map below represent springs that are unusually early or late in the long-term record. Gray indicates an average spring.

Parts of the Southeast, lower Midwest, mid-Atlantic, and New York City area are seeing either the earliest spring leaf on record or a spring that only occurs once every 40 years (dark green). Parts of the West are seeing a spring that only occurs this late once every 40 years (purple). 

Will you be at the C*Sci Conference in Tempe, AZ in May? Our Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Samantha Brewer, and I will be there, and we'd love to connect with you in person! Let me know if you'd like to meet up!

Phenology on the Refuges

2022 summary of our partnership

Each year, we look back at all that we accomplished in our partnership with USFWS. Our Annual Report summarizes our progress toward objectives including understanding nectar resources for pollinators, documenting phenological change along the Rio Grande bosque, Mississippi River corridor, and eastern monarch flyway, and supporting new refuges in implementing long-term phenology monitoring programs.

Read the 2022 USFWS/USA-NPN Annual Report »

Resources for our Refuge Partners

Results from your LPP Annual Surveys

This year we had a great response rate to the LPP Annual Survey - thank you! We learned a lot from your feedback. The Visualization Tool and LPP Dashboards continue to be top-used resources. Your satisfaction with our website navigation was not as high as other resources we offer, which makes us extra eager to launch our new website this spring! And the area that you want more support is still understanding your data - we hear you! We can't wait to share resources for data analysis guidance later this year. You can see more results from the Survey on this lovely infographic created by Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Samantha Brewer.

View the infographic »

Track fireflies this summer!

With the help of Carla Arreguín, a visiting researcher from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México who interned with us last year, we have added five species of firefly to the Nature’s Notebook species list for you to observe this year. Fireflies spend only a few weeks as adults, displaying their signature mating display light patterns. If you plan on observing fireflies, keep in mind that flashlights can disrupt them, and catching them for too long can take away precious time needed for reproduction. They have important things to do, too!

View the species list »

Synchronous firefly,

Photinus carolinus

Photo: © Max Ramey via, CC BY-NC 4.0

New and improved Pheno Forecasts

We have two new Pheno Forecasts to share this spring. The first is a new forecast for red brome, an invasive grass that impacts rangelands and native desert plant and animal communities in the Western US. The second is an improved forecast for emerald ash borer (EAB) from our partners at Oregon State University. This forecast provides both a long-range forecast of when we predict EAB adults will emerge and when egg laying will begin as well as a look back at past EAB activity earlier in the year. You can take our new module on how to observe phenology of EAB at

View the Red Brome Pheno Forecast »

View the Emerald Ash Borer Pheno Forecast »

What's new at USA-NPN

USA-NPN's 2022 Annual Report

Our 2022 Annual Report is here! See highlights from last year, including new research by Dr. Lin Meng and coauthors on the impact of artificial light on phenology and by Dr. Dan Katz and colleagues on promising results using Nature's Notebook flowering data to inform pollen forecasts! We also highlight 2021 PhenoChampions, the Tree Spotters, based at Arnold Arboretum, as well as collaborations around Indigenous data sovereignty with Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Read the 2022 USA-NPN Annual Report »

New species interaction project in AZ

Just four inches long and very active, Lucy’s Warblers (Leiothlypis luciae) have been known in the past as Mesquite Warblers due to their close ties to these trees. After collecting data on nest box preferences, Tucson Audubon developed a nest box that is ideal for providing nesting space for this species. They are now looking for volunteers to help us learn more about the relationship between Lucy’s Warblers and mesquite trees.

View an info sheet on how to participate »

Watch a recorded training for this project »

Lessons learned in coproduction

Several USA-NPN staff and colleagues are authors on a new paper that reflects on our experiences in knowledge coproduction, in which both creators and users of information work together to produce actionable science. We found that who is at the table and how involved and invested they are is key to success. We offer suggestions that may help other scientists seeking to support decision-making. One of our case studies focuses on our Status of Spring in the Refuges tool.

Read the article »

Upcoming Events

Time to Restore quarterly call May

Join our Time to Restore team for an update on the project and opportunities to collaborate with others working on pollinator restoration in the South Central region - NM, OK, TX, and LA. Our next quarterly call will be Tuesday, May 16th at 10am PT / 11am MT / 12pm CT / 1pm ET. Meeting link

Learn more »


Local Phenology Leader Monthly Call

Each month, Local Phenology Leaders across the country join together to share resources, ideas, and more. Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Samantha Brewer leads the calls with different topics each month. You can join our email list to be notified of monthly call topics that may be of interest.

Sign up for monthly call emails »

Stay Connected

Erin Posthumus

Outreach Coordinator and USFWS Liaison



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