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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Undergraduate class at UC Santa Barbara and volunteers are making observations at the Garden. Part of the California Phenology Project.
2017 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.