Volunteer Spotlight: Orrin Shane

Portrait of Orrin Shane.
Photo credit: Linda C. K. Shane.

Orrin attended a Signs of the Seasons training at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in 2013 and he has been a dedicated volunteer since monitoring several tree species. “My favorite species to observe is red maple (Acer rubrum) because the tree is a sign of spring and has beautiful flowers.

Orrin believes that climate change is an “established existential threat” and that “it is vital that we work to develop ways to adapt.” This has motivated him to observe and record climate change over the years in a variety of projects including the distribution of terrestrial plants and animals as well as ocean acidification and warming water temperatures.

Participating in SOS has definitely provided me with opportunities to discuss phenology and the local impacts of climate change with these groups and with colleagues and friends.

When making observations, Orrin uses a quality binocular in order to better see changes in the trees. “It really helps note expanding flowers and leaf buds, and emerging flower parts.

In addition to the trees, he also enjoys keeping an eye on birds and mammals in his site. He even found a “squirrel condo” in a hollowed out maple tree with several squirrels nesting inside. “There is a lot of interesting living going on in the woods if you take the time to look and listen!


Published in the Signs of the Seasons Newsletter: June 2018.