UPDATE! One-time and Life-Cycle observations combined!

Budburst has combined one-time and life-cycle observation forms into just one phenology observation form and protocol. For life-cycle observers-when a phenology event occurs on a plant you are monitoring, submit a phenology observation with that plant nicknamed. Continue submitting phenology observations for that nicknamed plant and as more observations are submitted, your data will reflect that plant's full life cycle.


Remote Learning Curriculum, Grades 3-5

NGSS-aligned curriculum is now available for Grade 3-5 educators wishing to engage students in Budburst phenology observations during remote learning. Students become Budburst community scientists from home by studying the timing of seasonal life events in plants around them. 


How to become a Budburst Citizen Scientist


Understand the science of phenology, its history and contributions. 
Meet the five Budburst plant groups, and
Review key phenology events within each plant group.

Select your plant: one featured by a Budburst Project or Partner, or
one from the over 400 Budburst plants!
Will this be a phenology, pollinator, or special project observation?

Register as a Budburst citizen scientist to create your account,
Post your observation reports, and
Review and analyze your data.

Monarch butterfly on Common milkweed plant

Milkweeds and Monarchs

Summer 2020 - Fall 2025

Declines in monarch butterfly populations in North America may be due to declines in milkweed plants, a necessary part of the butterfly's reproductive cycle. The butterflies lay their eggs exclusively on milkweeds, which their caterpillars (larvae) rely on for food as they develop. Researchers are studying the relationship between milkweeds and monarchs more closely, and Budburst is enlisting our citizen scientists to help answer the question, do monarch butterflies prefer to lay eggs on flowering or non-flowering milkweed stems?


We offer climate change and phenology materials and tools for formal and informal educators for all age groups. Budburst educator accounts provide a classroom portal, including plants, locations and student accounts.

Budburst data are freely available for anyone to download and use and have been used by scientists, horticulturalists, and educators in the Budburst network and beyond to address current research questions.