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Nature's Notebook 2010: Data & participant summary

December 1, 2012

The USA National Phenology Network (USA‐NPN) seeks to engage volunteer observers to collect phenology observations of plants and animals using consistent standards and to contribute to the USANPN National Phenology Database (NPDb). The commencement of 2010 marked the second functional year of Nature’s Notebook, the online phenology observation program developed by the National Coordinating Office (NCO) of the USA‐NPN. The addition of animal species for monitoring was a major enhancement to Nature’s Notebook in 2010.

In 2010, with minimal advertising or marketing, 796 new observers registered with Nature’s Notebook and 426 observers reported phenology observations on one or more plants or animals via the online interface. Over 200,000 data records were added to the NPDb. Observations were reported on 179 species of plants and 58 species of animals. The plant species most frequently observed include red maple (Acer rubrum), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), northern red oak (Quercus rubra), and flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). The animal species most frequently observed were American robin (Turdus migratorius), black‐capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), bumblebee (Bombus spp.), and white‐tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).

As in 2009, participants tended to stay involved, reporting most phenophases for an average of nearly ten unique dates during the year. In addition, nearly two hundred participants who submitted observations in previous years continued to participate in 2010. This sustained participation suggests that the Nature’s Notebook interface and the status monitoring protocols inherent in Nature’s Notebook are both conducive to engaging the public and keeping them involved.

Data submitted by Nature’s Notebook participants show patterns that follow latitude and elevation. Multiple years of observations now allow for year‐to‐year comparisons within and across species. As such, these data should be useful to a variety of stakeholders interested in the spatial and temporal patterns of plant and animal activity on a national scale; through time, these data should also empower scientists, resource managers, and the public in decision‐making and adapting to variable and changing climates and environments. Data submitted toNature’s Notebook and supporting metadata are available for download at Additionally, data visualization tools are available online at

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title Nature's Notebook 2010: Data & participant summary
Authors Theresa Crimmins, Alyssa H. Rosemartin, R. Lee Marsh, Ellen G. Denny, Carolyn A.F. Enquist, Jake F. Weltzin
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title USA-NPN Technical Series
Series Number 2011-001
Index ID 70045181
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Phenology Network