Despite a cool, wet winter in much of the country, signs of spring are starting to emerge. Below, we invite you to try out a new spring campaign focused on tree pests, tune into a special TV series featuring phenology, and refresh your observation skills with our Phenophase Webinar recording.

You may have noticed a new look to the USA-NPN logo. The new design incorporates elements that are central to phenology - a leaf for plants, a bird for animals, and a raindrop to represent weather. We feel it's a great way to start off 2019 and the next decade of the USA-NPN!
What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
New campaign for spring - Pest Patrol
We are seeking observers to report their sightings of insect pest species that cause harm to forest and agricultural trees. Your observations as part of this campaign will help validate and improve the USA-NPN's Pheno Forecasts , which help managers know when these species are active and susceptible to treatment.

2018 Annual Report
Our 2018 Annual Report tells stories of how we advanced science, informed decisions, and communicated and connected last year. Read what researchers learned about the climate drivers that influence flowering, how spring is changing on National Wildlife Refuges, and why a cemetery makes an ideal spot for phenology observations.

Phenology on American Spring LIVE
This spring, phenology will be a major part of the new PBS Nature mini series American Spring LIVE ! The USA-NPN will be featured in the third and final episode focused on Connections on May 1st.

Viewers are invited to become a citizen scientist by getting involved in one of several projects including the new Track a Lilac project . This is a special project to invite the public to submit one-time observations of leafing and flowering in lilacs. After testing the waters of citizen science, interested participants will be invited to join Nature's Notebook for long-term observations.

Help us reach our new goal for this year!
Our Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN webpages have a fresh new look for 2019. The Nature's Notebook homepage includes a new goal for this year - 4,000 observers submitting data in 2019! Can you help us get there by spreading the word?

Recent happenings in the field of phenology
How typical is this year's spring?
In places where spring has sprung, how how often have we seen a spring like this one? The USA-NPN's  spring leaf out  map shines light on where leaf out of early season plants has occurred across the country. In the map below, darker colors represent springs that are unusually early or late in the long-term record. Gray indicates an average spring.

Integrating herbarium data with observed phenology
Integrating herbarium data with contemporary phenology data requires standardized terminology, definitions, and principles. The authors of a new study in Applications in Plant Sciences describe the Plant Phenology Ontology, an effort to integrate herbarium and field data. They demonstrate the use of this framework by combining herbarium data and observations from Nature’s Notebook to show that in North America, flowering time for black cherry ( Prunus serotina ) has been steadily accelerating since 1873.

Prunus serotina ,
Photo: Sten via Wikimedia Commons
Seasonal activity of Wikipedia searches
A new study found that pageview trends in Wikipedia for plant and animals match their seasonal activity. The findings suggest that people are paying attention to things like migratory bird arrival and blooming of their favorite plants.

How do trees know when to wake up?
A new article in the Chicago Tribune describes how Christy Rollinson, forest ecologist at the Morton Arboretum, uses Nature's Notebook to track how trees are impacted as winters grow shorter and milder.

Photo: Ellen G Denny
More ways to get involved
Monitor phenology of foliage arthropods with Caterpillars Count!
Caterpillars Count!  is a citizen science project in which participants help researchers answer important questions about patterns of food availability for birds by collecting data on the seasonal variation and abundance of arthropods like caterpillars, beetles, and spiders found on the foliage of trees and shrubs.   Foliage arthropod observations are a great complement to your plant and bird observations in Nature's Notebook

The project is  actively seeking new partners  to start up Caterpillars Count! survey sites for the 2019 spring and summer and beyond.    Check out the project website to learn about survey protocols, the free mobile app, and data visualization tools.

USA-NPN co-founder discusses spring
USA-NPN co-founder and distinguished professor in University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's geography department Mark Schwartz joined WUWM last week to talk about the Spring Indices - models of spring leaf out and bloom that are an indicator of early season spring activity.

Tom Luljak and Mark Schwartz, WUWM Photo: Jason Rieve
Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
2018 PhenoChampions: Oregon Season Tracker
The results are in - the winner of the 2018 PhenoChampion Award is Oregon Season Tracker ! Started by Oregon State University Extension and HJ Andrews Experimental Forest LTER in 2014, OST links natural resource managers, educators, researchers, and community members in the shared goal of understanding how plants respond and adapt to regional variations in climate. You can read about how OST is training the next generation of climate scientists in this article from Clearing Magazine . As the PhenoChampion Award winners, OST received a customizable trail sign to tell visitors about their efforts.

Customizable trail sign received by Oregon Season Tracker
Watch our phenophase webinar
Did you miss our Phenophase Webinar? You can watch the recording to get tips from our staff on what to fret, what not to fret, common errors, and the big picture value of your data.

Photo: Ellen G Denny
Local Phenology Program Highlight: Wells Reserve Phenology Project
Certified Local Phenology Leader Caryn Beiter (Cohort 4, Spring 2018) created the Wells Reserve Phenology Project to better understand how climate change is affecting the timing of natural cycles. She is engaging volunteers in long-term monitoring of trees, shrubs, and monarchs. She also leads phenology-focused walks for the public with the intention of recruiting new volunteers and is working through the beginning stages of how to engage the public in self-guided phenology at the Reserve. This project is affiliated with Signs of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Program .

Wells Reserve Phenology Project Story Map describes their effort
Congratulations to our LPP Annual Evaluation raffle winners!
Thank you to everyone who completed the 2018 LPP Annual Evaluation. We will use your feedback to improve the resources that we provide for you. Congratulations to our raffle winners, who received a copy of our 10-year anniversary poster: Jennifer Rhode Ward, Claire Lyman, Carol Manahan, Linda White, Christine Small, Elizabeth Orcutt, Sandra Barnett, Liz Fayer, Dorothy Kieser, Jonathan Horton, Gillian Schultz, Alisa Hove, Liz Dicharry, Judy David, and Joshua Porter.
Join the Local Phenology Leader Community of Practice
Education Coordinator, LoriAnne Barnett, hosts monthly interactive discussions for Local Phenology Leaders on topics ranging from program planning to ideas for advanced trainings for local participants. Tune in on the third Friday of the month at 10 am Pacific time. The next call this Friday, March 22nd is a working meeting to create Nature's Notebook activities for K-12 students, higher education resources for using the Visualization Tool, and volunteer training resources to refresh your workshops.

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator

LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator