Sonoran Seasonal
Highlights from the Tucson Phenology Trail

I can't believe how exciting the gardens have been this spring! Over the last few weeks I have seen some amazing displays of yellow and red flowers all over town. The paloverde and acacia are sp bright in their spring colors. Lots of critters are waking up as well. We've got a breeding pair of Cooper's hawk just outside our office window on the University of Arizona Campus. All of these observations are making their way into Nature's Notebook!

This semester I am lucky to have a few student volunteers helping me with ideas and activities. We are excited to have an Agriculture Education course using Nature's Notebook in the Campus Arboretum's Joseph Wood Krutch Garden as a tool for teaching and learning. They have been lucky to make their observations in the garden during such a phenologically active time of year! Their data are helping us obtain a better annual picture of the seasonal changes in the garden.

Happy observing!

LoriAnne Barnett
Education Coordinator & Local Phenology Leader, USA-NPN

Trail Tales

Welcome, Watershed Management Group

The Watershed Management Group has teamed up with the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) and Nature’s Notebook on a project to better understand the relationships between plant and animal life and the environment. Learn more about the collaboration here!
-Submitted by Aaron Alvarez, UA Environmental Science Major (Senior) and WMG Intern.

Inspiring Observations           

Pointleaf manzanita or Mexican manzanita
(Arctostaphylus pungens) 
in bloom and fruit.
Image credit: H. Cox.
Photo taken 02/21/16. Arctostaphylus pungens typically bloom in the Sonoran Desert between January and February and again in May, if there is enough moisture.
Submit your seasonal phenology photos to or post on our Facebook Group. Tag a photo on Instagram with #TucsonPhenologyTrail.

The Big Picture

What are your data telling us, locally?

Our NASA Spacegrant intern, Julianna Renzi, has been hard at work looking for patterns in our local data. During a preliminary analysis she wondered if the data would reflect the interaction between the local hummingbird species and the blooms of the ocotillo (Fouqueira splendens), one of the sentinel species for the Sonoran Desert. While there were lots of data available in Nature's Notebook, she found that there was not enough information to tell the full story. Our data are lacking during the summer season when students are not in school. This means that we really cannot say what and when the hummingbirds are visiting these majestic plants! Our challenge to you - commit to making year round observations along the Tucson Phenology Trail so that scientists and observers have an accuarate picture of how these species respond to seasonal change!  Check out this informative summary of Julianna's work, The Ocotillo and the Hummingbird: Year-round observations tell the best stories.

Upcoming Events

March 26, 2016. 10:00 am
The Art of Paying Attention Workshop II -

Together with Beth Surdut, award-winning artist, writer, creator of Listening to Raven and The Art of Paying Attention NPR radio series, the USA-NPN and Pima County Natural Resources and Parks and Recreation are offering a second opportunity to learn the art of paying attention and telling a nature story. Observing nature starts with curiosity about what's around you. This workshop will explore and hone your observation skills through writing, drawing and storytelling. Plan to come share your backyard critter and habitat stories —off the cuff is just fine! We will facilitate the telling of your wildlife tales. Join us at Agua Caliente Park on Saturday March 26 from 10 am until noon. Pre-registration suggested via Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation's website.

Fourth Mondays: March 28, April 25, May 23, 2016, 9am
Monthly "Coffee Walk" at the UA Campus Arboretum -

Join us on the fourth Monday of every month, from 9am - 10am, for a "Coffee Walk" and phenology lecture at the UA Campus Arboretum's Joseph Wood Krutch Garden. We will meet by the Cats Statue, learn about phenology and collect observations for the Nature's Notebook Citizen Science Program. FREE, locally sourced coffee will be provided! Just bring a mug and an interest in learning about what is blooming and which critters are visiting this month in the garden.

April 10, 2016
Sam Hughes Home Tour and Phenology Demonstration

Nature's Notebook is excited to highlight the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association's Phenology Trail during their annual home tour! Visit us on 7th Street and learn about how the neighborhood has incorporated phenology monitoring as a project for all to enjoy! We will be available for demonstrations and to answer questions from 10 am until 3pm.

April 2016
Intro to Nature's Notebook Workshop
Join us to learn the nuts and bolts of monitoring phenology using Nature's Notebook! This 3 hour workshop will be perfect for first-time participants or those who need a refresher. The date and location is TBD, but if you'd like to be notified when the event is happening, email to let her know you are interested.

May 2016
Nature's Notebook
Advanced Training Workshop

Ready to take your observation skills to the next level? Maybe you'd like to know more about how to observe some of the more complicated phenophases in Nature's Notebook, or you need some help estimating intensity measures. This 3 hour workshop will focus on those things and more. The date and location is TBD, but if you'd like to be notified when the event is happening, email to let her know you are interested.

Stay tuned for more information about dates and times and other events we will host! Take a look at our Tucson Phenology Trail Google Calendar for more info.

Copyright © 2016 USA National Phenology Network, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp