There is a lot going on right now, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. We hope that you have a chance to get out into the natural world sometime soon to slow down and appreciate the plants and animals carrying on their seasonal cycles. We can learn a lot from the flexibility and resilience of the species that surround us.

Below, we share some inspiring highlights from a few of our wonderful Local Phenology Programs.
What's new at Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN
Explore seasonal stories on the Viz Tool
Our Seasonal Stories show you examples of what we can learn from the plant and animal phenology data that you contribute to Nature's Notebook. Find out whether invasive shrubs leafed out earlier than native shrubs in the Eastern U.S. this year, whether White-winged Doves arrived in time to feed on saguaro flowers in Arizona, and whether maples leafed out earlier at southern latitudes than northern latitudes.

Recent happenings in the field of phenology
Invasive shrubs have a leafy advantage
Invasive, non-native shrubs frequently leaf out earlier in the spring and hold onto leaves later in the fall than natives, out-competing native plants and shading the forest floor at times when other species depend on the sunlight. To better understand how this phenomenon of Extended Leaf Phenology in invasive plants plays out at a regional scale, Maynard-Bean and colleagues used data collected by Nature's Notebook participants to document differences in leaf phenology between native and invasive shrubs. The authors found that the leaf period was up to 77 days longer for invasive species compared to natives. Better knowledge of how invasive shrubs negatively impact natives can help stem the purposeful spread of these plants by humans and protect native species and their ecosystems.

Especially for Local Phenology Leaders
LPP Highlight: Milner Gardens and Woodland
Milner Gardens and Woodland is a 70 acre seaside property on the coast of Vancouver Island, BC. Participants from Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and citizen scientists are tracking phenology of native trees and shrubs such as Douglas-fir, salal, and red huckleberry that serve as indicators for forest ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. The long term goal of the project is to provide land managers with information that will increase their understanding of current and future ecosystem function, especially with climate change. They currently have students who are compiling photo observation data from cameras to compare to in-person observations to better understand the capability to interpret plant phenophase observations from photos. Using both citizen scientists for in-person observations in local sites and cameras for photo observations in remote sites increases the geographic distribution of the study to better understand shifts in plant growth and productivity across the Island.

Highlight courtesy of Heather Klassen, photo credit: MABRRI
Smokies LPLs honored with lichen names
Long-time phenology leaders Susan Sachs and Paul Super of Great Smoky Mountains National Park were recently honored by being named for two of five new species of lichen discovered in the Park. The Park's more than 10 years of phenology monitoring are a critical part of understanding how ecosystems function.

Lecanora sachsiana,
Photo: Tripp and Lenemer 2018
Start thinking about your achievements!
Each December, we ask our wonderful Local Phenology Program participants to share your yearly activities and accomplishments via our Annual LPP Survey. We also encourage you to create an Annual Report to document your progress toward meeting your goals. For some inspiration, check out this amazing 2019 Phenology Report compiled by Indiana Phenology's Holliday Park. More from us on this in the next couple months!

Related resources
Indigenous Speaker Series
We've seen a lot of interest recently in indigenous approaches to ecology and phenology, including the Indigenous and Western Approaches to Phenology NCTC series that we co-organized with the Indigenous Phenology Network this spring and the Indigenous Phenology and other Indigenous-focused sessions at the Ecological Society of America meeting this year.

If you'd like to learn and connect further in this area, two great options are the NWIC and UW Indigenous Speaker series and Rising Voices. You are also invited to join a webinar series entitled "Empowering Tribal Culture, Ecology, and Food Systems" that will take place from September 30th to October 28th. This series supports Indigenous communities’ efforts to restore their land, reduce food insecurity, and increase economic opportunity through the production of native plants.

Postdoctoral position
A research team affiliated with the USA National Phenology Network seeks a post-doctoral scholar interested in advancing understanding of phenological coherence and seasonal predictability across North America through development of more accurate and diverse models of spring plant growth stages.

To apply send an email to Dist. Prof. Mark D. Schwartz with subject line: “Application for phenology modeling postdoc” that includes your CV, list of contacts for three references, and a short cover letter (1 page) highlighting your qualifications and interest in the position. Review of applications will begin October 12, 2020.
Submit your plant phenology research
The journal Madroño invites your manuscript contributions for a Special Issue, "Phenological patterns in the flora of western North America". Any paper covering phenology of plants in western North American Flora will be considered. The manuscript may be a full paper or short communication based on your own research in this area, or a focused review article on the subject. Submission deadline is Dec 1, 2020.

Erin Posthumus
Outreach Coordinator
LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator