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LPPs with Impact Statements

Here you will find our list of Local Phenology Projects using Nature's Notebook who have provided us with their LPP's Impact Statement. If a group listed has a blank entry or is missing information, they have not updated their information with our staff in 2019.

Two phenology efforts are ongoing at the Arnold, including the Native and Indicator Observation Program and the Tree Spotters program.

This LPP is working with Indigenous communities.
Partner's Impact Statement:

Lizzie Wolkovich, Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, launched the Arnold Arboretum Tree Spotters program pilot in 2015. Her research explores how climate and community assembly may explain and forecast plant phenology, which is strongly linked to climate and can be easily observed. Lizzie is interested in engaging citizen scientists to collect phenology data to support her research. From 3/25/15 – 3/26/17: Trained 238 volunteers to make/record observations in Nature’s Notebook (68,651 observations to date); offered 33 training classes (28 for new Tree Spotters and 5 refresher classes for returning volunteers), 22 opportunities for volunteers to meet with researchers on the grounds, and 6 educational sessions (also open to the public); held 3 social events. Staff: research assistants/graduate students/interns and a volunteer. Forty-three volunteers have participated actively in the program (making multiple observations and/or collaborating on special projects). We have also engaged the general public via our educational sessions. We have an active social media presence (Facebook, Flickr, Twitter), a monthly eNewsletter, a website, and a volunteer database. As a result of the success of this pilot, the Arboretum is now looking for funding to ensure that the program will continue.

Partner Website:

Two phenology efforts are ongoing at the Arnold, including the Native and Indicator Observation Program and the Tree Spotters program.

This LPP is working with Indigenous communities.
Partner's Impact Statement:

Lizzie Wolkovich, Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, launched the Arnold Arboretum Tree Spotters program pilot in 2015. Her research explores how climate and community assembly may explain and forecast plant phenology, which is strongly linked to climate and can be easily observed. Lizzie is interested in engaging citizen scientists to collect phenology data to support her research. From 3/25/15 – 3/26/17: Trained 238 volunteers to make/record observations in Nature’s Notebook (68,651 observations to date); offered 33 training classes (28 for new Tree Spotters and 5 refresher classes for returning volunteers), 22 opportunities for volunteers to meet with researchers on the grounds, and 6 educational sessions (also open to the public); held 3 social events. Staff: research assistants/graduate students/interns and a volunteer. Forty-three volunteers have participated actively in the program (making multiple observations and/or collaborating on special projects). We have also engaged the general public via our educational sessions. We have an active social media presence (Facebook, Flickr, Twitter), a monthly eNewsletter, a website, and a volunteer database. As a result of the success of this pilot, the Arboretum is now looking for funding to ensure that the program will continue.

Partner Website:

Earthwise Aware (EwA) is a Nature conservation nonprofit in Massachusetts and the NPN addresses our standards for standardized scientific protocol rigor, global data, and open science. We focus on Biodiversity and how to protect it.

Concretely, we are dedicated/committed to bringing biodiversity knowledge, ecological ethics and environmental leadership at the core of communities and organizations / in the daily life of people.

One of our main outreach is through Co-creative Biodiversity & Climate citizen science programs to engage communities in helping, contributing to, collaborating in scientific endeavors.

Our citizen science principles are to:
- Advance Biodiversity & Climate research
- Give Science back to the people

Our Citizen Science pillars are:
(1) Species & ecosystems knowledge
(2) Ecological ethics
(3) Open and global science
(4) Democratization of science

We run several programs in Massachusetts. One of our programs happens at the Middlesex Fells Reservation (2800 acres of forested uplands and wetlands): ‘EwA at the Fells’. This is where we actively record via Nature’s notebook. We use other global platforms for other kinds of biodiversity recording. We collaborate with experts and scientists and study various habitats at different levels (species occurrence & abundance, phenology, plant community assessment, etc.). The intent is to build a continuous natural history of the place through habitat/species surveillance/monitoring and phenology recording, and aligning as well with standards as developed by GEO BON (global biodiversity observation network). Our program at the Fells program engages its participants in observing birds, amphibians, insects, fungi, plants, etc. We also pay attention to the relationships between species and reflect on the meaning and implications of these relationships in relation to the forest, the cities around and further away. This intimate system-focused exploration helps to build a deep understanding of the place through rapid habitat-changing conditions and over time for the benefits of the Fells, its scientists, and ultimately our  communities.

There are several species that we are monitoring among which some rare or endangered species (and for which we record information for our local scientist connections).

With time and with a growing number of participants, we will increase the list of species we monitor.

Somerville, Medford, Winchester (MA)
This LPP is working with Indigenous communities.
Partner's Impact Statement:

2018 Impact Statement Earthwise Aware (EwA) Biodiversity & Climate Citizen Science fills important biodiversity and phenology data gaps. Our projects are about co-creative conservation using open and global science protocols and tools -protocols that lead to comparable and usable data, accessible and transparent to scientists and the public worldwide. For our phenology studies, we use Nature’s Notebook that we endorse for its rigor and openness. Specifically, we value the standardization effort of the protocol across the U.S., therefore, leading to outcomes that we -as well as anyone interested- can aggregate and compare with other institutions’ output. Scientific rigor and openness are critical to science, and this was a factor for adopting Nature’s Notebook. Since we started in 2018, we recorded about 15,000 data points, which aggregated with about 20,000 biodiversity records, start to establish a continuous natural history of the urban wildlife sites that we are studying. Our 'system' approach is unique and an acknowledged differentiator. Our model is inclusive and democratic; it bridges expertises and domains; it truly values the skills of its citizen scientists and networks, and enables genuine Open Science. As a result, we are witnessing a rapid increase in knowledge, awareness, skills, and aspirations of our citizen scientists.

Partner Website:

Pepperwood is an ecological institute dedicated to educating, engaging, and inspiring our community through habitat preservation, science-based conservation, leading-edge research, and interdisciplinary educational programs. As part of the California Phenology Project, citizen scientists at Pepperwood are collecting important phenological information that will be used to inform regional land management practices and conservation strategies under a changing climate.

Santa Rosa, CA
Partner's Impact Statement:

Plant phenology is one of the most sensitive indicators of shifts in climate patterns. The importance of climate change has been highlighted by California's recent 4-year drought from 2012–2015. Climate models suggest that Northern California will become increasingly arid with an increased probability of extreme events such as drought and flooding (Flint and Flint 2012). Since 2013, citizen scientists at Pepperwood Preserve have been tracking the effects of climate on California native plant life cycles through the National Phenology Network and the California Phenology Project. Our volunteers monitor 11 species of woody shrubs and trees twice a week throughout the year. As of January 2017, we have collected over 65,000 plant phenology observations. This project provides an incredible opportunity for citizen scientist to build critical research skills, enhance their botanical knowledge and connection to plant life cycles, and gives them professional development experience analyzing data and sharing their findings at scientific conferences. Data collected by this project informs important research about how plant species are responding to climate and how these shifts may impact the local ecology.

Partner Website:

The North Carolina Arboretum engages school groups and visitors in making phenology observations using Nature's Notebook, through its Project EXPLORE program.

Asheville, NC
This LPP is working with students.
This LPP is working with Indigenous communities.
Partner's Impact Statement:

Teachers have expressed a need for on-site field trips, eliminating travel time and costs, that address curriculum standards and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. As an organization we would like to reach audiences not typically served by field trips by engaging with Title One schools and offer place-based educational programs. We offered a Project EXPLORE mini grant to teachers in western North Carolina through The NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC. We modeled for teachers and students how to collect data for Natures Notebook in phenology plots we set up in their schoolyards and met with both students and teachers three times throughout the school year to focus on Natures Notebook. The teachers and students collected data weekly from September to April and presented their findings at our mountain science expo. Since beginning the Project EXPLROE program in 2013, we have had 35 teachers in 28 schools and 2000 students throughout western North Carolina participate in Nature’s Notebook. Students have submitted 33,863 observations. Based on pre and post surveys we have successfully provided a way for teachers to be able to meet their curriculum while taking students outside and connected students with local nature, while they’ve contributed to the scientific community through Nature’s Notebook, and ultimately gained interests in science and science careers.

Undergraduate class at UC Santa Barbara and volunteers are making observations at the Garden. Part of the California Phenology Project.

Santa Barbara, CA
This LPP is working with students.
This LPP is working with Indigenous communities.
Partner's Impact Statement:

It is important to promote education of the public concerning seasonal plant cycles, as well as plants’ sensitivities to climate, in order to demonstrate the critical importance of humans’ interconnection to our environment. Changes in plant phenomena affect abundance, diversity of species, interactions, ecological functions, effects on water, energy, and chemical elements. Recorded data can be used in research and management, informing decisions, as climate change affects earth’s ecosystems. The California Phenology Project was started in 2010 by Dr. Susan Mazer, by a grant from National Science Foundation, and in collaboration with National Park Service Climate Change Response Program, US Geological Survey, and USA-National Phenology Network. Utilizing National Phenology Network’s Nature’s Notebook, nineteen plant species and almost 1,300 individual plants on public and private lands have been monitored. Over sixty trainings with seven hundred participants, have been given, with more trainings occurring. As of March 15, 2017, 1,440,000 (1.44 million) phenological observations have been recorded. The group leader was trained as Citizen Scientist-Phenologist by Dr. Susan Mazer at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden two years ago. We currently study five plants, and have plans to add more. Four people have been trained to utilize Nature’s Notebook, and found it fulfilling to be able to share the process of plant phenophases with students. The significance of data collection and recording from plants, while enjoying the beauty of the plants themselves, makes phenology an extremely rewarding and worthwhile project.

Partner Website: