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Welcome to Signs of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Program

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Using their backyards as laboratories, participants in the Signs of the Seasons program help scientists document the local effects of global climate change. Hundreds are trained to observe and record the phenology (seasonal changes) of common plants and animals living in their own communities — a citizen science project that fills a gap in regional climate research. Volunteers across Maine and now New Hampshire record the growth of milkweed, the nesting of robins and more. The goal is to build a rich, detailed record of the region’s seasonal turns, a resource too costly to build without a network of citizen volunteers. The collected data are made available to our collaborating scientists and resource managers.


2016 Signs of the Seasons Trainings

Fall 2016 Training: Please Register Online

  • Thursday, September 8th 2016,
    • 5:30pm – 7:00 pm
    • 769 Congress Street, Portland ME

Please fill out this Volunteer Interest Form if you would like to receive information about this program!

Coastal Trainings for Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) Monitoring

Stay Tuned for Additional Training Dates and Locations TBA – Spring 2017


Latest Phenology News

Stay current on regional phenology news with the Signs of the Seasons Phenology News or our News RSS feed! Updated regularly with phenology research, species information, and interviews with researchers.

RSS Feed icon New to RSS? Learn more.


Summer Monitoring of Loons on Maine Lakes

Do you have access to an inland lake? Have you observed loons on this lake? Learn more about a joint project with Maine Audubon.


Phenology Webinars

Year-end summary: What happened in 2015? (Recorded October 5, 2015): Learn what your 2015 observations reveal, and the ways scientists are using your observations. We cover results from the 2015 Campaigns, as well as a range of other results from observers across the country. Webinar Recording | Powerpoint Slides

The new USA-NPN Visualization Tool (Recorded Jul 14, 2015): Curious to see how your observations compare to those in your region? How about to previous years? Does the timing of phenological events in your region seem to be driven by temperature, precipitation, daylength, latitude, or elevation? You can explore all of these patterns and more in the new USA-NPN data visualization tool! Webinar Video

How are your data being used? (Recorded Jun 16, 2015): The ways in which data collected through Nature’s Notebook are being used is growing nearly by the day. Join us as we walk through a range of real-world applications for these observations, including research, agriculture, resource management, and leaf-peeping. Webinar Video | Powerpoint Slides


University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant coordinate the Signs of the Seasons program in partnership with the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN), Acadia National Park, Schoodic Education and Research Center, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Maritime Academy, Maine Audubon, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and climate scientists and educators at the University of Maine. Current participants include Master Gardners, 4-H Youth Groups, and coastal groups affiliated with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant, as well as other groups and individuals across the state in all 16 counties.