Project BudBurst launched in 2007 as a national field campaign designed to engage the public in the observation and collection of important ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering and fruiting of plants (aka plant phenophases). The data are collected in a consistent manner across the country so scientists can use this information to learn more about the responsiveness of individual plant species to changes in climate locally, regionally and nationally.

BudBurst participants select that is convenient for them to observe on a regular basis and record their observations in a field journal (pdf) they download from the BudBurst Web site. Observers are asked to describe the site they are monitoring in terms of proximity to buildings, presence of asphalt surfaces, slope, sunlight and irrigation. In order to make meaningful observations, BudBurst organizers suggest checking out the Plant Resources section of their site.

Observers create an account on the BudBurst site through which they input the data they have gathered. This data freely available to all in several formats.