In 2018, we are commemorating 10 years of the USA National Phenology Network and data collection with Nature's Notebook.
On October 19th, we brought together USA-NPN partners and Nature's Notebook leaders and observers at the home of the USA-NPN's National Coordinating Office in Tucson. There we reflected on the last 10 years of the USA-NPN and envisioned the next 10 years.
We started the day with a special appreciation event for our Local Phenology Leaders - partners who lead volunteer groups in place-based Nature's Notebook programs. We enjoyed a lovely brunch together at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, where Leaders had the chance to speak about their programs and share ideas with other Leaders conducting similar efforts. We also were treated to a tour of the Tucson Botanical Gardens Phenology Walk, led by Carol Anderson and Laurie Richards, certified Local Phenology Leaders, certified Master Naturalists, and Docents at the Gardens.
The Local Phenology Leaders attending the event included (front row from left to right) Laurie Richards (Tucson Botanical Garden), LoriAnne Barnett (USA-NPN NCO), Sue Wilder (Gulf Coast Phenology Trail), Ceanne Alvine (Watershed Management Group), Jessica Schuler (New York Botanical Garden), Bettina Eastman (Sea and Sage Audubon), Jean Linsner (The 606 Project Chicago), Sara Schaffer (USA-NPN NCO), Carol Anderson (Tucson Botanical Garden), Hilary Cox (Oracle State Park); (back row from left to right) Rebecca Montgomery (Minnesota Phenology Network), Liz Douglass-Gallagher (Rio Grande Phenology Trail), Christy Rollinson (The Morton Arboretum), Blue Baldwin (Manzo Elementary), Susan Mazer (California Phenology Project), Alyssa Rosemartin (USA-NPN NCO), Erin Posthumus (USA-NPN NCO) and Ellen Denny (not pictured, USA-NPN NCO).
Special 10-year anniversary commemorative posters were presented to the USA-NPN's co-founders Mark Schwartz and Julio Betancourt.
Here are some highlighted quotes from our speakers:
"As we expected all along, the NPN data represent the gold standard for monitoring." Susan Mazer, Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara
"Refuge biologists are seeing a lot of the changes, but they're not necessarily able to document it. And through this work with the USA-NPN and our partnership with USA-NPN we're really able to start really documenting the changes that we're seeing." Sue Wilder, Retired Ecologist, Gulf Zone Inventory & Monitoring/Fire Ecology, US Fish & Wildlife Service
"The work that we do could not be accomplished without us being able to work underneath the National Phenology Network and utilize Nature's Notebook. We rely very heavily on the resources that are developed through NPN and then we tailor them to our specific regions." Elisabeth Maxwell, Assistant Coordinator, UMaine Signs of the Seasons
"The folks studying phenology, even on a citizen science level can really assist us by reaching out to us and working with us because we have a knowledge base that's different from Western thought." Teresa Romero, Environmental Specialist, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
"Because of the dedication, we've seen over the last 10 years that the USA National Phenology Network is going to be, it's going to continue to be important. And I would say and argue that even more so in the next 10 or 25 years. I think the foundation that's been established is amazing and we've yet to see the results of that." Jeff Morisette, Chief Scientist, National Invasive Species Council Secretariat
"And the other thing that really is needed to make this possible is a professional staff and the people coming together who have made it their career. And so I'm deeply appreciative of that and I really want to thank you for that." Mark Schwartz, Distinguished Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"It's beautiful to see what has happened in the last 10 years since we hired Jake and opened the offices in 2007 here at the University." Julio Betancourt, USGS, Scientist Emeritus
A reception followed the Symposium event, giving our friends and partners a chance to form new collaborations and discuss ideas related to phenology and the next 10 years of the USA-NPN. The reception featured posters from Local Phenology Programs from across the country, as well as a photo slideshow showing our partners and observers in the field.
We followed up the anniversary event with some special field trips for our out of town visitors - a trip to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and a hike in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Visitors to the Desert Museum had a chance to learn about the unique flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. Hikers walked in the steps of a local phenologist who has been recording flowering phenology data for over 30 years in the Santa Catalina mountains.