Resource: Project BudBurst, another Citizen Science project

Yet another Citizen Science resource on the Web, this one can be embraced by all gardeners:
Join us this spring in collecting important climate change data on the timing of leafing and flowering of trees and flowers in your area through Project BudBurst. This national citizen science field campaign targets native tree and flower species across the country. By recording the timing of the leafing and flowering of native species each year, scientists can learn about the prevailing climatic characteristics in a region over time. With your help, we will be compiling valuable environmental information that can be compared to historical records to illustrate the effects of climate change.
I love the subtitle on the home page:

A National Phenology Network Field Campaign for Citizen Scientists

Even if you don't plan to contribute your own observations, there's lots of information available on the site. No maps or other data posted yet, since this is just getting started. There's some good introductory information, and special materials for students and teachers.
Phenology is the study of the timing of life cycle events in plants and animals. In other words, studying the environment to figure out how animals know when it is time to hibernate, and what ‘calendar’ or ‘clock’ plants use to begin flowering, leafing or reproducing.

Phenology is literally “the science of appearance.” Scientists who study phenology – phenologists -- are interested in the timing of specific biological events (such as flowering, migration, and reproduction) in relation to changes in season and climate. Seasonal and climatic changes are some of the non-living or abiotic components of the environment that impact the living or biotic components. Seasonal changes can include variations in day length, temperature, and rain or snowfall. In short, phenologists attempt to learn more about the abiotic factors that plants and animals respond to.

- What is Phenology?
via Old House Gardens Newsletter #60, April 2007.

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