Why have the Fall into Phenology field campaign?

Photo courtesy of Riveredge Nature Center

The fall equinox, September 22nd, is a notable time of year because it marks the changing of seasons. You can help all of us better understand how plants change this autumn season by observing plants in your neighborhood, schoolyard, or community. Although the fall equinox is just one day, the Fall into Phenology campaign is much longer, giving you plenty of time to observe the plants in your area! The Fall Into Phenology field campaign runs from September 1st to October 31st every year.

At Project 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 and choose a day in September or October to grab a cup of apple cider, head outside, and learn more about the stories plants are telling this fall!

What makes the Fall into Phenology campaign unique?

Fall into Phenology is a campaign from September 1st to October 31st, designed to get people outside collecting continental scale fall plant data for science. This citizen science plant phenology event is unique because it is national in scale, focused on fall phenology, and attempts to get people outside as part of a targeted campaign using scientifically vetted protocols.

Why is Fall into Phenology important to science?

One of the most frequent requests we get from scientists is for enhanced geographic coverage of observations. The more people participating across the country, the better the geographic coverage and the more useful the data is to our scientists. Scientists can use your data to look for general trends, to see if it can provide ground-truthing to better understand remotely sensed data such as that taken by satellites or cameras, and more.

Why should I participate in the Fall Into Phenology campaign?

Photo courtesy of Ashley Bradford

You, the Project BudBurst citizen scientist, are the critical part of this campaign. As our 'eyes on the environment,' your observations are making a difference in education and science. You are the basis for our success and why Project BudBurst is getting so much attention from both the scientific and educational communities. If you are new to Project BudBurst, we hope you will take some time and explore our website and join us again for regular observations during our next campaign. Consider Fall Into Phenology just a sampling of what you can do with Project BudBurst.

If I participate, will it take much time?

Fall Into Phenology was developed with your busy schedule in mind to demonstrate how easy it is to register, make an observation, and report that observation online. You use our Single Report form to report on the status of a plant from the Project BudBurst Master Plant list on any day from September through October. For example, if you're looking at a Red maple tree on Sept. 23rd and its leaves are changing color, you simply decide if it is at the early, middle, or late stage of leaf color by checking a box on your Single Report form. Then, go inside, logon to budburst.org, and report your observation! We estimate it will only take about 10 minutes of your time to participate after you register.

Where can I track the observations people are reporting?

Photo courtesy of United States Botanic Garden

You can find all the latest Project BudBurst observations on our View Results page.

How many observations are you hoping to get?

The goal of this campaign is to collect at least 500 observations from around the country (that's only 10 per state). Check out our map as we update the observations coming in. Of course, we still want you to make regular Project BudBurst observations as we already know that data is very useful for scientists and educators.

I'd like to provide feedback about the Fall Into Phenology campaign.

Great! Your feedback is just as important as your observations. Your participation, input, and comments will help us refine future Single Report based campaigns. If you have thoughts about how we can improve this campaign, send us an email at budburstinfo@neoninc.org with the subject "Fall Into Phenology".