News

Fall Tips for Bird Observation: Seth Benz

Seth Benz, director of the Bird Ecology Lab at the Schoodic Education and Research Center of Acadia National Park, discusses the importance of bird observation as the seasons turn. He says detailed information on fall behaviors can help scientists puzzle out the effects of climate change on different species. Benz notes that while animal numbers […]

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Tips for Fall Plant Observation: Professor Lois Stack

Tips for fall observation! Professor Lois Stack of UMaine offers Signs of the Seasons volunteers helpful pointers as we move into fall, a season of dramatic change that offers many opportunities to see phenology in action. In fact, detailing changes to plant life is every bit as crucial now as in the spring. See her tips […]

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Volunteer in the Spotlight

Dr. Orrin Shane’s lifelong interest in milkweed began when he was a boy in the 1940s. He and his childhood friends picked bushels of the plants for the war effort. The fluffy insides of pods were used to fill life preservers for soldiers overseas. “That was my introduction to milkweed,” Shane said. “It is a […]

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The Story of Milkweed

Maine’s hearty pod-bearing milkweed is an essential part of seasonal change. The stalky perennial provides annual food and shelter to butterflies in all stages of metamorphosis. The insects depend on the safe haven provided by Maine’s three types of milkweed plants: the sun-loving butterfly and common types and the purple-flowered swamp variety. Maine gardeners also […]

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Interview with Ivan Fernandez

UMaine researchers incorporate “chemical phenology” into their studies of the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. In this interview, Ivan J. Fernandez, Professor of Soil Science, School of Forest Resources and Climate Change Institute, discusses research in which he and graduate student Erin Redding set out to discover if the chemical composition of forest foliage could […]

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Tips for Making Spring Plant Observations

Wondering why this year’s milkweed shoots are coming out in different places than last year’s? Uncertain which forsythia buds are flowers versus leaves? Is there a difference? Lois Stack helps answer typical questions Signs of the Seasons volunteers may have when setting out to observe plants in spring. Lois is a professor of sustainable agriculture […]

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Interview with Dr. Abe Miller-Rushing

Dr. Abe Miller-Rushing, Science Coordinator for Acadia National Park and Schoodic Education and Research Center, is a phenologist studying the biological impacts of climate change and the role of citizen science in observing changes over time.  Abe is the former Assistant Director, and one of the founding scientists, for the USA-National Phenology Network, which houses […]

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