Did you know that the USA-NPN is now in the 10th year of phenology data collection through the Nature's Notebook observation program?  If you haven't had the opportunity to explore these data recently, I encourage to see how you might use these millions of observations across thousands of sites. Many of these sites have been collecting high quality data for a decade! 

Just last week, we released our new Pheno Forecast maps. These maps show when management actions should be taken for key pest species and are created using Accumulated Growing Degree Day maps.  Please check them out and let us know if you have feedback.  

Finally, don't forget to check out how spring is unfolding across the country this year!  So far, we've seen an early arrival of spring in the west and the mid-Atlantic, with a delay in the southeast compared to the long-term average.  We'd love to hear what you are seeing in your area. 


What's new at the USA National Phenology Network
Celebrating 10 years of the USA-NPN

This year we are celebrating 10 years of the USA National Phenology Network and Nature's Notebook data collection.  Each month we will be celebrating a different aspect of our 10 year history. So far you can read about the USA-NPN co-founders, and one of our long-time observers! Thank you to each and every one of you for all you have done to contribute to the success of the network. 
  Read more »
Springcasting: Tracking the spread of spring

The Spring Index models, developed by Dr. Mark Schwartz at the  University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, are formulated from long-term observations of lilacs and honeysuckles and the USA-NPN continues to collect observations on cloned and common lilacs. These data are used to validate and ultimately improve the models. 

The USA-NPN is using the Spring Index models to anticipate when Nature's Notebook  participants may expect to see their lilac plants leaf-out and bloom, in an effort called Springcasting. This gives them our observers a heads up to get out  and capture the onset of these lifecycle events.  A similar effort led by Dr. Toby Ault at Cornell University generates predictions of the onset of spring weeks or months in advance. 

Springcasting »

Data and data products
Pheno forecast maps now available

Pheno Forecast maps show when management actions should be taken for key pest species, such as emerald ash borer and winter moth. These maps are updated daily and are available 6 days in the future. 

Pheno Forecasts are based on published growing degree day (GDD) thresholds for points in pest life cycles when management actions are most effective.  These maps will help determine when a site will reach critical heat accumulation for detection, management, and treatment. Maps are available via the USA-NPN visualization tool by clicking on the "bug" icon and on individual species landing pages. 

These maps demonstrate our capacity to operationalize predictive phenology models; please reach out if you are interested in a collaboration in this realm. At this time we are particularly interested in models of invasive species, pollen, and fall phenology. 

USA-NPN data use policy

Are you using NPN observational or gridded data, but unsure how to properly attribute these data in your publications? We encourage you to follow the guidance on our site for data use   and  attribution, and contact us about any in progress or published papers you would like us to know about! 

Upcoming meetings     
NEON Remote Sensing Data Institute

This Data Institute provides a unique opportunity for participants to gain hands-on experience working with openly available NEON data. Participants will use well-documented, reproducible methods using Python.  This institute includes an in-person component in
Boulder, CO.  Applications are due March 20, 2018. 
Read more »

Research spotlight
PhenoR modelling framework

A recent paper in Methods in Ecology and Evolution presents a modelling framework that uses the R language and environment to analyze phenology measurements from the PhenoCam network, USA-NPN observations, PEP725 European observations, and MODIS data. The purpose of this framework is to facilitate investigations to
understand relationships between phenology and climate. Hufkens et al.
include example analyses comparing 20 spring phenology models. 
Parasitic plant and host phenology

A new study in  Oecologia used data from the National Phenology Database from Arizona and California to look for consistencies in the leafing, flowering, and fruiting phenology between desert mistletoe and their host plants. Yule and Bronstein found that mistletoes are not constrained by their hosts when it comes to phenology,  and use diverse strategies to maintain reproductive success.

Time-lapse cameras match autumn phenology observations

A three year study in New England forests found correspondence between derived phenological dates from time-lapse cameras and USA-NPN observational data in a recent Ecosphere publication. For 8 tree species, Xie et al. generated mixed effect models to test for
relationships between climate and peak fall foliage color. 


Kathy Gerst
Associate Research Scientist
Data Product Coordinator