The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

USA-National Phenological Network receives well-deserved “Enduring Achievement” award

photo of USA-NPN team
Monday, April 19, 2021

In recognition of their dedication and progress toward connecting people with science and nature, the USA-National Phenological Network (USA-NPN) has received the “Enduring Achievement” award by Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS).
 
This well-deserved award acknowledges the long-term impact made by the USA-NPN researcher team (pictured left). In addition to compiling annual non-technical reports and educational resources for public engagement, USA-NPN facilitates a long-term, collaborative research program that brings researchers and communities together to track seasonal changes across the country. By logging their observations into Nature’s Notebook, an online data platform hosted by USA-NPN, anybody in the U.S. can contribute toward applied research addressing climate change.
 
Phenology is the study of seasonal change – observing things like flower budding, butterfly emergence, and monsoon rains to understand Earth’s natural cycles. Shifts in snowfall, warming trends, blooming seasons, and insect emergence have all signaled that the Earth’s climate is changing, and phenology is an important tool for understanding and predicting these changes. Identifying and tracking such changes in seasonal trends is an important first step to increasing our resilience against climate change, and provides a warning system for scientists, agriculturalists, and natural resource specialists.
 
Keeping up with Nature’s Notebook can offer a lot of personal benefit too. Tracking nature’s cycle encourages to keep their eyes and ears open for new changes, a mindfulness that parallels effective anti-anxiety techniques such as meditation. Perhaps most importantly, phenology facilitates a reconnection with nature and puts us back in touch with natural cycles that traditionally guided our own daily rhythms for millennia. This can be particularly grounding for folks that are feeling the effects of the seemingly never-ending pandemic, in which every day feels like “Groundhog Day.”  
 
USA-NPN team pictured from left to right: Ellen Denny, Theresa Crimmins, Lee Marsh, Amanda Gallinat, Erin Posthumus, Jeff Switzer, and Alyssa Rosemartin.
 
Slideshow Photo by Jim Witkowski on Unsplash