Why have a Summer Solstice Snapshot field campaign?

We all get excited and make lots of observations in the spring, when so many plants are first coming out after the winter. But then summer comes along and we often forget to observe the plants around us, so summer is often a slow time for Project BudBurst. But, if you look carefully, you'll probably be surprised at how many plants are still actively going through their phenophases during the summer months. June and July, for example, are great months to watch for fruits to appear and ripen for many wildflowers, trees and shrubs.

To encourage us all to observe plants this summer, we've created the Summer Solstice Snapshot field campaign and centered it around, you guessed it, the summer solstice, which falls between June 20th and 22nd, depending on the year. The summer solstice is the day of the year the Northern Hemisphere receives the most sunlight in one day (24 hours if you are at the Arctic Circle). By making observations during the time around the summer solstice (June and July), you can help paint a clearer picture of what plants are doing this summer.

What makes the Summer Solstice Snapshot campaign unique?

Summer Solstice Snapshot is a campaign from June through July, designed to get people outside collecting continental scale summer plant data for science.

Why is Summer Solstice Snapshot 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 Summer Solstice Snapshot campaign?

You, the Project BudBurst observer, 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, explore our web site and join us year round. Consider Summer Solstice Snapshot just a sampling of what you can do with Project BudBurst.

If I participate, will it take much time?

Summer Solstice Snapshot was developed with your busy schedule in mind to demonstrate how easy it is to register, make an observation, and report that observation online. The Single Report protocol is the best way to make observations during the campaign. Report what you saw and where you saw it on any day from June to July and you're done! For example, if you're looking at a Cottonwood tree on June 16th and many of the fruits are ripe, check the box on your Deciduous Trees and Shrubs Single Report form for Fruits "Middle". Then, 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. If you have an Android phone, you can also make observations using the Project BudBurst Mobile App.

Where can I track the observations people are reporting?

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 the observations come in. Of course, we still want you to make regular PBB observations as we already know that data is very useful for scientists and educators!

I'd like to provide feedback about the Summer Solstice Snapshot 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 "Summer Solstice Snapshot".

Cottonwood fruiting (top) photo courtesy G. Suanne Bacque, Lousiana Ag Center; Spiderwort (middle) photo courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden; Red-osier dogwood (bottom) photo courtesy of Paul Alaback