Issue: Fall 2022

Hello USA-NPN,

I hope that you are enjoying the cooler fall weather. Wishing you time for rest and relaxation in the coming weeks!

We are wrapping up another year of our partnership with the USFWS, and continue to support the great efforts of National Wildlife Refuges across the country who are collecting phenology data to meet resource management and outreach goals. Below, we share some updates from these efforts as well as regional and national scale data collection campaigns.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with you next year!

Best wishes for the New Year,

Phenology on the Refuges

Nectar Connectors update

Refuges such as Neal Smith NWR, Bayou Sauvage NWR, and Mississippi Sandhilll Crane NWR are among our top contributing partners for Nectar Connectors, which asks observers to document flowering timing of nectar plants across the country to understand nectar availability for monarchs and other pollinators.  

See this year's results »

Learn more about Nectar Connectors »

Flowers for Bats update

Observers across Southern Arizona are tracking flowering of columnar cacti and agaves to help the USFWS understand nectar availability for the lesser long-nosed bat. This year, observers have reported fewer flowers on saguaros than in previous years. Additional years of data will show whether this is a pattern or an anomaly. 

See this year's results »

Learn more about Flowers for Bats »

Gulf Coast Phenology Trail update

The Gulf Coast Phenology Trail seeks to encourage people to engage in outdoor education, ask and answer local science management and climate change questions, and connect organizations together through a shared community monitoring project. This year, Trail Coordinator Gail Bishop put together an annual report summarizing five years of data collection on the Trail!

Read the 2021 Annual Report »

Learn more about the Trail »

Resources for our Refuge Partners

Bees struggling to match early flowers

A new study from researchers at the University of Ottawa found that early spring arrival could spell trouble for bumblebees. They found most bees were unable to shift their emergence from hibernation to keep up with early springs, and the bees that woke too early had lower smaller colonies and lower survival rates.  

Learn more »

Monarch forecasts guide conservation

Researchers have identified which locations in the Midwest will likely suit monarchs best under future climate conditions. Due to uncertainty in how much the climate will change, the researchers forecasted changes in monarch populations for four emissions scenarios. There is still much that is unknown about how populations will change, even in the short term. Your Nature's Notebook data on monarchs and their food and habitat plants such as milkweed are so important! 

Learn more »

What's new at USA-NPN

How your data were used in 2022

In this webinar, USA-NPN staff shared details of research studies that used your Nature's Notebook data in 2022 and an update on campaigns and new features coming in 2022. Find out if your data were used this year!

Watch the recording »

Monarch & milkweed project in Arizona

Desert Refuge: Monarchs and Milkweeds in Arizona is an effort to learn more about the overwintering behavior of monarchs in Arizona. Observers register a milkweed plant and check once a week for milkweed leafing and flowering and monarch adults, mating, egg laying, and caterpillars. This project is a collaboration with Desert Botanical Garden with funding from Monarch Joint Venture and USFS International Programs.

Learn more about this project »

A new integration of phenology data

We often get asked about whether USA-NPN data are combined with phenology data from other programs such as iNaturalist or Project Budburst. A new project will make that possible! A team of collaborators was recently funded to develop Phenobase, an open source, global scale knowledge base that will integrate millions of existing plant phenological observations from in situ monitoring programs like the USA-NPN and NEON, community science images contributed to iNaturalist and Budburst, and digitized herbarium specimens compiled by iDigBio and GBIF.

Learn more about Phenobase »

Timing is everything...when it comes to managing invasive species

Nature's Notebook data have been used to identify critical windows of opportunity for treating invasive plans and insect pests. For example, data collected through Nature's Notebook has been used to identify when invasive buffelgrass is green enough to spray with herbicide, but has not yet spread its seeds. In the coming months, the USA-NPN will create Pheno Forecasts for management of cheatgrass and red brome.

Learn more »

Buffelgrass herbicide treatment by:

 Desert Landscape Creative Cooperative

Upcoming Events

Citizen Science Course at NCTC

Next spring, the National Conservation Training Center will once again host its virtual citizen science course, OUT8067: Implementing a Successful Citizen Science Effort. The course will include existing citizen science programs, including Nature's Notebook, that federal agencies can use to engage volunteers. The course will run April 11 - May 16, 2023 online, every Tuesday 2 - 4 PM ET. Tuition for FWS, NPS and USGS employees is prepaid.

Learn more »

Register via DOI Talent »

Time to Restore quarterly call January

Join our Time to Restore team for an update on the project and opportunities to collaborate with others working on pollinator restoration in the South Central region - NM, OK, TX, and LA. Our next quarterly call will be Monday, January 23rd at 10am MT / 11am CT / 12pm ET. Meeting link

Learn more »


Phenology Leader Certification Course

Next spring, consider taking our Local Phenology Leader Certification Course! This course assists in planning and implementing a phenology monitoring program at your refuge. Take the course as a staff member or invite one of your volunteers to join. The course will run February 17 - April 28th and the time commitment is 60-80 hours. We will also offer a new, self-paced option for the course next year.

Learn more about the course »

Sign up on the interest list »

Stay Connected

Erin Posthumus

Outreach Coordinator and USFWS Liaison



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