Last week, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Samantha Brewer, and I attended the C*Sci Conference in Tempe, AZ. My head is still full of new thinking, best practices, and resources on topics such as program evaluation, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, data ethics, artificial intelligence, and more! I also had a blast meeting some of our wonderful Local Phenology Leaders in person for the first time, and sharing lessons learned with leaders from other C*Sci programs.

I returned excited to implement some new ideas, and very grateful to all of you who do so much to implement and sustain long-term phenology programs, support your volunteer data collectors, and share back all of the wonderful resources and outcomes from your programs.

With gratitude,

What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN

How typical was this year's spring where you live?

Did you track the progress of spring this year? Our Spring Leaf and Spring Bloom maps provide an indicator of spring activity in early season plants. We also create a map that indicates how typical (or unusual) this year's spring was at each location across the Continental US. Darker colors 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 saw either the earliest spring leaf on record or a spring that occurs only once every 40 years (dark green). Many parts of the Southwest, Northwest, and Northern Great Plains saw a spring that only occurs this late once every 40 years (purple). 

Learn more about spring »

Nature's Notebook on the radio

Did you catch USA-NPN Director Dr. Theresa Crimmins on the radio this spring? She and Dr. David Inouye, professor emeritus at the University of Maryland and a researcher at the Rocky Mountain Biological Station, discussed how spring has unfolded this year and how variability in seasons can have a cascading impact on ecosystems.

Listen to the episode »

Learn to track EAB phenology

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is a destructive beetle that has caused the death of millions of ash trees. Our new and improved Pheno Forecast for EAB, in collaboration with partners at Oregon State University, 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 help us test this model by reporting your sightings of EAB! Learn how to identify EAB, how to tell it apart from other insects, and why this works is important in our new EAB Phenology Learning Module available at

Take the module »

View the Emerald Ash Borer Pheno Forecast »

Emerald ash borer adult, Photo: David Cappaert,

Recent happenings in the field of phenology

Predicting spring phenology with accumulated heat

The ability to predict spring plant phenology has implications for ecosystem services and forest management. The amount of heat that has accumulated at a given location, called growing degree days, is one method for prediction. The authors compared phenology data collected by the Tree Spotters (a Nature’s Notebook Local Phenology Program) at an urban arboretum, to those collected in a rural forest, Harvard Forest, and found that the urban site actually required fewer GDDs than trees at the rural site, possibly due to other phenological cues such as light and a higher amount of accumulated winter chill than predicted.

Learn more »

See all Highlighted Publications »

Photo: Ellen G Denny

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders

Annual Report inspiration from EwA

We love sharing the beautiful and informative annual reports that Local Phenology Programs create. Earthwise Aware created another amazing report this year focused on Northern red oak. It includes helpful data visualizations including some graphs from our Visualization Tool.

You can also check out the guidance we provide on creating your own annual report. We encourage you to use this as a guide - pick and choose the parts that are useful to you from the table of contents. You don't need to include all the components, just the ones that are of interest to your Program!

Read the Earthwise Aware annual report »

Annual Report Guidance »

Join monthly calls with leaders like you

We've had some great discussions lately on our Local Phenology Leader Monthly Calls! Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Samantha has been sharing some fun phenology activities that you can use for workshops and zoom trainings, and we've generated some helpful ideas about engaging volunteers and visitors in phenology observations. Join us every third Friday! We are also looking for suggestions for future call topics.

Sign up for reminders about Monthly Calls »

Suggest a call topic »

New journal, Community Science

Community Science is a new peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes articles on community science, articles that describe the results of community science, and articles that present scientific findings that are useful for community science. Consider it as an outlet to publish outcomes from your Local Phenology Program!

Learn more »

Related resources

Cherry Blossom prediction results are in

Results from the second annual Cherry Blossom Prediction Competition are in! Contestants were asked to build predictions of peak cherry bloom in four cities around the globe. This year, prizes were awarded in three categories. There was even a best use of USA-NPN Data Award! For those who want to dig more into predictions, one of the competition organizers, Jonathan Auerbach, wrote up a tutorial on how to predict the day a flower will bloom.

See the competition results »

See the flower bloom prediction tutorial »

More phenology on the radio

Listen to a conversation about Maine phenology with Local Phenology Leader Beth Bisson of Signs of the Seasons, USA-NPN's Monitoring Design and Data Coordinator (and Maine resident) Ellen Denny, and naturalist Nat Wheelwright. The program aired on Maine Calling, part of Maine Public, in March.

Listen to the program »

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator
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