Here in Tucson, the temperatures are finally starting to cool, the sun is dipping lower in the sky, and the activity of critters is starting to decline. Are you seeing signs of fall where you live?

The Washington Post recently released a beautiful set of graphics all about fall foliage - where to find it, which trees produce which colors, and how fall color spreads across the country at this time of year.

Happy fall observing!
What your data are telling us
Helping urban growers manage insects
Urban growers need information about how best to manage pests, for example, knowing when to apply a pesticide to have the least likelihood of impacting a beneficial pollinator. Data resulting from citizen science programs like  Nature’s Notebook , iNaturalist, and eButterfly can support urban growers’ efforts to increase the presence of pollinators and other beneficial insects and decrease insect pests. Growers can use these platforms to support insect identification, store their data in a standardized format, compare their data to those from other farms, and predict when pests will be most vulnerable to treatment.

Signs of fall in Minnesota, illustrated
MinnPost analyzed data from the  Minnesota Phenology Network to find the first average dates of fall phenology for some iconic Minnesota species. They have turned the data into a beautifully illustrated guide for when to expect your favorite natural occurrences this autumn.

What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
Site comments now available in the app
You asked and we delivered! Observers have long been requesting an easier way to enter comments about observation visits on the  Nature's Notebook app.

Rather than entering separate comments for each plant or animal you observe, you can now make a site-level comment for your visit and record information such as weather conditions, disturbances, and more.

10-year update on the USA-NPN
In a special presentation for the USGS' public lecture series, USA-NPN founding director Jake Weltzin gave an overview of the last 10 years of the USA-NPN, highlighting how the Network has grown over the years and touching on our future directions.

Nature's Notebook help page
Have you checked out our Nature's Notebook Help Page ? It has answers to common questions like "How can I edit my observations?" "I entered the wrong plant, how do I remove it?" and "Why aren't the changes I made on my computer showing up on my Nature's Notebook app?"

Recent happenings in the field
Citizen science can convince skeptics
A recent blog post in Scientific American made a new argument for volunteer science - data collected by the public can increase transparency and decouple research from any one scientists' personal agenda. This might serve to convince skeptics of say, climate science, that the science is credible. Another reason to be proud of being a volunteer scientist!

Bird Survival by Degrees
Authors of a study published in Science found that we have lost 2.9 billion birds (that's one in four) since 1970. A new tool from Audubon, Survival by Degrees , explores the species most under threat from climate changes. You can enter your location and see the birds most at-risk near you. Consider adding them to your Nature's Notebook list to document changes in their phenology.

Broad-tailed hummingbird,
Photo: Tom Grey
Nature's Notebook Nuggets
How to estimate colored leaves
When it comes to reporting on colored leaves, any amount of color (regardless of the reason) means a 'yes'. If reporting on intensity, consider the percent of color in the canopy respective to the canopy at 100% potential fullness—and it might take a year to know what this looks like for your plant. 

Photo: Ellen G Denny
More ways to get involved
How much nature is enough?
You may have heard of nature prescriptions - guidance from doctors to spend more time in nature in order to reduce stress levels, boost mental health and increase life expectancy. New research, as reported in the New York Times , quantifies this prescription with a recommendation of 120 cumulative minutes per week to reap the most benefits. Don't forget to bring your Nature's Notebook app with you!

New Column: Ask a Naturalist
A new column in the Almanac Weekly seeks to tap local experts to answer people's most pressing questions about nature in the Hudson Valley area of New York. In the inaugural column, experts from USA-NPN partners Mohonk Preserve and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies answer "Which kinds of trees make which color leaves?"

Aldo Leopold helps provide hope
How can we stay hopeful despite the many threats to biodiversity across the globe? Conservation biologist Stanley Temple thinks we should look to the writings of Aldo Leopold and follow our "ecological conscience. " Leopold was an early phenologist, documenting the life cycle changes in plants and animals over many years. Temple helped Nina Leopold Bradley compare her phenology observations to those of her father, Aldo Leopold, to understand the impact of changes in climate.

Aldo and Estella Leopold,
Credit: UW Madison Digital Archive

Erin Posthumus