Welcome to Signs of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Program
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.
Signs of the Seasons Trainings
Trainings will resume starting March 2017.
Fill out a 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
- Fill out a Volunteer Interest Form to be emailed when Coastal Trainings are scheduled!
- Visit our Resources for Coastal Observers page to learn more about Rockweed and monitoring
Latest Phenology News
- Quarterly Climate Review for the Gulf of Maine: June-August 2016 was hot and dry! Find out what this means for Autumn 2016.
- View this two-page visual report on summer drought conditions across the northeast, 2016.
- The Great Fall Migration has begun! Learn all about it here, and help track the progress of several creatures as they journey south.
- The White House called out successes of our closest partner – the National Phenology Network – and how they’re using your data!
- Maine Maple Production Numbers Are In – read about it in the Bangor Daily News here!
- Spring is here, but our winter was bizarre. Click to read two great articles about the strange winters we’ve been experiencing.
- Signs of the Seasons is expanding … to social media! Check out our new Facebook page to see and share beautiful photos, interesting news, and connect with fellow nature lovers!
- Rockweed: Habitat, “manure” or bovine Viagra? – an article by Tom Walsh in the Ellsworth American
- In April, Loons Return: A short and informative article on loons’ annual migration
- What does spring look like to you? Read ‘Recognizing Spring, Scientifically’
- Read about how a warm winter could mean early bloom for DC’s cherry blossoms
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.
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.
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.