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Nature's Notebook

Nature's Notebook

A national plant and animal phenology observation program enabling participants to provide valuable observations that scientists, educators, policy makers and resource managers can use to understand how plants and animals are responding to climate change and other environmental changes. Phenology refers to recurring plant and animal life cycle stages. It is also the study of these recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, especially their timing and relationships with weather and climate. Nature's Notebook offers opportunities for observing plants and animals, digitizing archival data for the North American Bird Phenology Program and sharing phenological plant or animal data taken by volunteers prior to joining the project.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Jake Weltzin
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: US Geological Survey
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Observation
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: High/Secondary School
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    Observation: Search for plants and animals to observe in your area with the help of Nature's Notebook's Web site. Study the site's tutorial for observing. Create an account and enter your observations onto the Nature's Notebook site.
    Rescue Historical Data: Sign up at the North American Bird Phenology Program Web site.
    Share Your Existing Data: Sign up for an account.

    For more information, contact Theresa Crimmins, USA National Phenology Network, theresa@usanpn.org

See more projects in FreeObservationHigh/Secondary School.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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