Using their backyards as laboratories, participants in the Signs of the Seasons program help scientists document the local effects of global climate change. Hundreds are trained to observe and record the phenology (seasonal changes) of common plants and animals living in their own communities — a citizen science project that fills a gap in regional climate research. Volunteers across Maine and now New Hampshire record the growth of milkweed, the nesting of robins, and more. The goal is to build a rich, detailed record of the region’s seasonal turns, a resource too costly to build without a network of citizen volunteers. The collected data are made available to our collaborating scientists and resource managers.
Training on how to submit your data is now online! This 3-part webinar series includes information about the importance of studying phenology in a changing climate, relevance of indicator species to New England, and how to set up a site and start observing. Produced by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant.