National Phenology Network
The National Phenology Network (NPN) is a vast network of researchers, community scientists, programmers, policy-makers, and educators that work together to provide “data and information on the timing of seasonal events in plants and animals to ensure the well-being of humans, ecosystems, and natural resources.”
Tremont is also a member of the NPN, as we began tracking seasonal changes in our valley in October of 2010. We established 8 phenology plots that community scientists visit weekly during the transitional seasons, spring and fall. The National Park Service has established almost 30 similar plots across the Smokies, representing different elevations, aspects, and forest types.
We are interested in how climate change and other environmental changes affect both tree phenology as well as species interactions. For example, if the trees produce leaves earlier in the spring, do caterpillars also arrive earlier to eat those leaves [see Caterpillars Count!]? If caterpillars arrive earlier, do birds that have not shifted their migration patterns miss out on this important food source?
Nature’s Notebook is the app that our community scientists use to upload phenology data from our plots. This data is then publicly accessible and has been used in hundreds of studies. Researchers and policy-makers use the data to make models to predict how certain species and ecosystems may react in a changing climate, or to calibrate satellite imagery with on the ground observations, and much more.
If you are interested in volunteering with our phenology project, or for guidance in setting up your own plot, please contact email@example.com.
Teachers: If you’d like to set up a plot similar to ours, we’ve done the legwork for you! Use our datasheets and phenophase description sheet below. These materials are formatted for plots with multiple trees.
- Phenophase Descriptions
- Tremont Phenology Plot Data Sheet
- Student Phenology Data Sheet – If you have numerous trees to check and a classroom of students, you can give each student a few of these half-sheet forms to take with them to their tree. Each half-sheet form corresponds to one tree. You would then transfer their information to a single data sheet for that plot.
- Birds and Wildflowers Data Sheet
- Visualization Tool
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.