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Update: Nature's Notebook

Update: Nature's Notebook

Nature's Notebook is a national plant and animal phenology observation project that lets citizen scientists record 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. The project has more than 900,000 entries covering 16,000 individual plants and animals at 5,000 sites.

Scientific American added Nature's Notebook to its Citizen Science listings a year ago, and researchers at the USA-National Phenology Network, which manages the project, want the data to keep on coming, particularly as they study the weak winter of 2012.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Jake Weltzin, Executive Director
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: USA-National Phenology Network
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Observation
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

     Visit the Nature's Notebook Web site.

See more projects in FreeObservationAll Ages.

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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