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

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milkweed gone to seedUsing 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.

Signs of the Seasons Trainings 

2017 Trainings will begin in March. Fill out a Volunteer Interest Form to be added to our mailing list, so we can contact you with Spring 2017 training dates.

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! Updated regularly with phenology research, species information, and interviews with researchers.

2 adult loons and 2 baby loonsSummer 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.

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.