Fall into Phenology

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What autumn changes do you notice in the plants in your neighborhood, schoolyard, or community? At Budburst, we are interested in what plants are doing throughout the year so we can understand how plants respond to changes in their environment. Fall into Phenology is a fun way for everyone to get outside to observe fall phenological changes around the country. Join us, observe a plant near you, and learn more about the stories plants are telling this fall!

Why Fall into Phenology?

One of the most frequent requests we get from scientists is for enhanced geographic coverage of observations. The more people we have participating across the country, the better geographic coverage we have, and the more useful the data is to scientists and researchers. Your data can and will be used to look for general trends, or they might be used to double-check and better understand remotely sensed data such as that taken by satellites, or they might be used by high school students tracking relationships between leaf color change and precipitation.

How to Report your Fall into Phenology Observations

Fall Into Phenology was developed with your busy schedule in mind. It takes about ten minutes to report an observation. This campaign welcomes both types of observation reports:

  • A one-time report, or status-based observation -- For example: early, middle, or late stage of leaf color or leaf drop for a Sweet gum tree you see while driving through a state park.
  • A life-cycle report, or event-based observation -- For example: for 50% leaf color and 50% leaf drop of the red maple in your backyard.

To make your observation report follow these simple steps: 

  • Log into your Budburst Account - submit your One-time or Life-cycle Report using your handheld device or record your observations on a field report form (downloadable from your plant's webpage) and post your findings later. 
  • Track your data - check your cherry blossom data from previous years in your Budburst Account, or view data from other observers using the Data menu.  Is this year's leaf color or leaf drop earlier or later than previous years? 

All observation reports - whether Life-cycle or One-time - are helpful in understanding how plants respond to changes in climate and atmosphere over time. 

The goal of this campaign is to collect at least 500 observations from around the country (that's only 10 per state!). Watch for updates and track observations as they are reported.