Issue: Winter 2020

We hope that you are staying healthy and sane amid the coronavirus pandemic. On the professional front, we realize many of you are facing new challenges including cancelled programming and conferences, shifts to working at home, and new homeschooling duties for your children. We are all in this together.

We have put together a list of resources to aid our Local Phenology Programs in moving programs to an online format . You can also check out some of our other resources and tips on how to manage your programs during these uncertain times. Today, LoriAnne will present a Nature's Notebook crash course webinar with advice on engaging participants remotely and moving programs online. Learn more here .

We also have another webinar opportunity coming up in just a few hours that is part of our Indigenous and Western Approaches to Phenology series - Climate Adaptation and Shifting Seasons , presented by Hilarie Sorenson from the 1854 Treaty Authority and hosted through NCTC's Conservation Science webinar series. Learn more below on how to access the recording for this and other webinars in this series.

Phenology on the Refuges
Visualize data across Phenology Trails
Phenology Trails are collaborations between refuges and nearby partners working toward a shared goal to better understand phenology of focal species. Our new Phenology Trail Dashboards allow comparison of phenology data between sites at a single refuge, between multiple refuges, and between refuge and non-refuge partner locations.

Compare data on and off refuges
Another new feature on our USFWS Phenology Network web portal is the ability to easily compare phenology on a refuge to Nature's Notebook sites within 10, 20, and 50 miles.Refuge staff can make comparisons of phenology at their own refuge to surrounding areas to determine if the refuge is fulfilling its management goals as a sanctuary for species of concern. Below, we can see when observers reported monarch butterflies at the Minnesota Valley NWR vs within 50 miles of the Refuge.

Resources for our Refuge Partners
Early spring in the news
We are seeing record breaking early spring leaf out across the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and parts of the Northwest. The USA-NPN data are showing that leafing and blooming is  up to three weeks earlier than average in many locations, allergies are getting  a head start , and cherry blossoms are  blooming early in Washington DC. Finally, don't miss USA-NPN Director Theresa Crimmins' thought provoking piece in  The Conversation highlighting the consequences of early spring.

Spring indices and native trees and shrubs
In a recent study published in  International Journal of BiometeorologyGerst and a team that included staff from the USA-NPN and Dr. Mark Schwartz from University of Wisconsin Madison evaluated how the Spring Indices could be used to predict activity across 19 deciduous species. The extent to which the models predicted phenology varied by species and with latitude, with stronger relationships revealed with the Bloom Index than the Leaf Index.

The relationships revealed by this study can serve as a yardstick to assess how future changes in the timing of spring will impact a broad array of trees and shrubs.

Short-term insect pest forecast
In 2018, the U.S. National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) released a suite of ‘Pheno Forecast’ map products relevant to science and management. A new paper by Crimmins and colleagues in a special issue of the  Annals of the Entomological Society of America   describes the utility of these products that were developed for 12 species of insect pests for improved decision-making efficiency.

Photo: David Cappaert,
What's new at USA-NPN
New Visualization Tool
The new  Visualization Tool includes  Seasonal Stories  help you learn your way around the tool and a  Data Explorer  to dive deep into the observational plant and animal data and USA-NPN's phenology maps. New features include grouping data by taxonomy (genus, family, and order), adding more than two years on Phenology Calendars and Activity Curves, and more flexibility in selecting locations (including the option to draw a polygon around an area of interest).

Update on USA-NPN Activities
We are pleased to announce that Theresa Crimmins, former Associate Director, is now the Director of the USA-NPN. After 12 years growing and leading the network, Jake Weltzin has taken a new role at the US Geological Survey as the Acting Senior Science Advisor for its Ecosystems Mission Area.

Theresa says "it’s an exciting new role for me to play in this organization I’ve been a part of for over a decade. I look forward to working with the entire Network to support management, advance science, and communicate broadly and inclusively about the value of phenology!"

Check out Theresa's recent presentation on current activities of the USA-NPN and where we are headed next.

Upcoming Events
How can phenology inform management AFWA Webinar
In this webinar hosted by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, we will describe the tools and resources that we have available for natural resource management, including our index of spring onset and Pheno Forecast maps for pests and invasive species. Thursday, April 2nd at 1 pm ET.

Indigenous and Western Approaches to Phenology Webinar Series
As a holistic science, phenology provides a way to not only explore connections between climate and phenomena but also presents an opportunity to explore the connections among worldviews. In our webinar mini-series, Indigenous and Western Approaches for Understanding Shifting Seasons , hosted by NCTC's Conservation Science webinar series, presenters illustrate indigenous and western approaches to the study of the seasons, including principles and tools for collaboration, monitoring and management. Upcoming webinars on Tuesday, March 31st at 1 pm ET and Tuesday, April 21st at 1 pm ET.

Stay Connected
Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator and USFWS Liaison

LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator