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Welcome to Signs of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Program

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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. 


Spring 2014 Signs of the Seasons Trainings

To Register, please contact esp@maine.edu

Trainings for Monitoring Upland and Freshwater Aquatic Species :

  • March 4, 7:00-9:00pm, Keene State College Science Center, Keene, NH (Please register here for this training!)
  • March 20, 4:00-6:30pm, Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, 20 Gilsland Farm Road, Falmouth, ME
  • POSTPONED! (new date TBA), 10:00 a.m. to Noon; Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association, SVCA office, 624 Sheepscot Rd, Newcastle, ME
  • March 25, 1:00-3:30 p.m., University of Maine Hutchinson Center, Belfast, ME
  • April 5, 9:30 a.m. to Noon, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME (Please register here for this training!)

Coastal Trainings for Intertidal Monitoring of Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum):

  • March 28, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Kettle Cove State Park, Cape Elizabeth, ME
  • April 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Location TBA, Midcoast, ME 

Spring 2014 Presentations and Information Sessions

  • January 31, Audubon Out In the Field, Signs of the Seasons, teacher workshop; Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, ME
  • February 20, 6:30-8:00 p.m., The Timing of Natural Events and How they are Changing; Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, Belfast Free Library, Belfast, ME. More information.
  • March 29, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., How are Things Changing in Maine—An Intro to Signs of the Seasons; UMaine Extension Rural Living Day, Mount View School, Thorndike, ME.

Climate Change Events and Presentations

  • March 12, Climate Solutions Expo and Summit, Augusta Civic Center. More information. Signs of the Seasons Poster; Presentation: Climate Change Adaptation
  • April 3, Maine Sea Grant Research Symposium, University of Maine. Signs of the Seasons Poster; Presentation: Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Communities

Phenology Webinars

Join the USA National Phenology Network for webinars in 2014! Learn more about findings as the year progresses, how to visualize your own data, and more at:  https://www.usanpn.org/nn/connect/Webinars2014

View our 2013 Signs of the Seasons webinar, A Phenology Focus on Maine, produced by our close partner, the USA National Phenology Network: at https://www.usanpn.org/node/20357


University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant coordinate the Signs of the Seasons program in partnership with the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN), Acadia National Park, Schoodic Education and Research Center, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Maritime Academy, Maine Audubon, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and climate scientists and educators at the University of Maine. Current participants include Master Gardners, 4-H Youth Groups, and coastal groups affiliated with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant, as well as other groups and individuals across the state in all 16 counties.