Reflecting upon our 10th year as a network, we are proud to see that our database continues to grow every year and our data and products are increasingly used to advance science.  I hope you enjoy reading below about some fascinating recent applications of USA-NPN protocols and data, including a study about the impact of earlier spring onsets on migratory flyways, a study about seed dispersal by bears, and a study on the detection of leaf phenology using tree movement data

As we transition into Fall, the National Coordinating Office is currently undergoing lots of planning. For example, we are scoping enhancements to our visualization tool that will provide a more smooth and rich experience for exploring phenology data. You can also read below to learn about our plans to make additional Pheno Forecast maps as we expand our stakeholder audience and improve capacity to produce more complex and dynamic maps.

These efforts would not be possible without your input and guidance.  Please continue to reach out so we can discuss opportunities for new collaborations as you embark on your own reflection and planning. 


What's new at the USA National Phenology Network
Join us to reflect on 10 years

On October 19th we will be coming together to reflect on the first decade of the USA-NPN and look forward to the next 10 years! This event will take place at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. 

Please consider joining us to hear from and mingle with local phenology leaders, researchers, educators, and natural resource managers. Each of you has played a critical role in the success of the network and we would be thrilled if you are able to participate.  
Learn more »
Climate Adaptation Leadership Award

The USA-NPN's National Coordinating Office has been awarded a Climate Adaptation Leadership Award, in the Broad Partnership category, for our work reducing climate-related threats and promoting adaptation of the nation's natural resources.

Read more »

Walking with Wildflowers

A new initiative led by  Nic Kooyers and Ben Blackman encourages hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail to collect phenological observations using Nature's Notebook. This effort will increase the availability of phenological data on high elevation mountain plants as well as engage new audiences across broad geographic regions. 

Project website »
AAAS Reflection essay »
Data and data products
USA-NPN Github

Have you checked out the USA-NPN Github lately? There is updated code available to make it easier than ever to access both observational data and gridded map data using R. 

Pheno forecast maps: the next generation! 

It's hard to believe, but we are already busy getting ready for Spring 2019 with plans to release a new suite of Pheno Forecast maps  on insect pests and invasive plants! This means we need your help.

If you are currently working on phenological models related to invasive plants, insect pests, pollen, or disease vectors, we'd love to hear from you and see what it might take to deliver your models to diverse stakeholders.  Please contact Kathy if you have ideas to share! 

Upcoming meetings      
Phenology job at the Jornada      

Study how vegetative phenology can be used to predict ecosystem responses to changes in climate and soil health at the Jornada in New Mexico.

Research spotlight
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Changes in spring impacts bird migration 

A paper by Waller and colleagues published this week in PLOS One leveraged the Spring Index models to understand trends in the timing of spring in USFWS National Wildlife Refuges across the United States and how those changes impact North American migratory bird flyways. The authors found that the rate of spring advancement is higher in the northern regions of migratory flyways compared to southern regions. 

Bears are important seed dispersers 

A recent paper published in Ecosphere used USA-NPN protocols to assess the ripeness of fruits to demonstrate the predominate role that bears play in seed dispersal in salmon-bearing ecosystems. Harrer and Levi used cameras and eDNA techniques to elucidate the timing of seed consumption by birds, black bears and brown bears and how the timing relates to the availability of salmon. 

Phenology estimated from movement data

Gougherty and colleagues tested the idea that accelerometers, which can estimate tree mass using time series analyses, can also be used to detect leaf phenology in trees. The study published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology demonstrated that accelerometer measurements could derive meaningful approximations of leaf emergence and leaf drop. These phenological estimates had high correlations with USA-NPN observed balsam poplar phenology data. 


Kathy Gerst
Associate Research Scientist
Data Product Coordinator