USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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The USA National Phenology Network supports science, natural resource management, and communication by providing data, tools, and resources and by connecting people.

Image credit:
WD Peachey

USA National Phenology Network

The USA National Phenology Network was established in 2007 to collect, store, and share phenology data and information. History of the USA-NPN.

The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN)

The USA National Phenology Network consists of a National Coordinating Office (NCO), thousands of volunteer observers and many partners, including research scientists, resource managers, educators, and policy-makers. Anyone who participates in Nature’s Notebook or collaborates with NCO staff to advance the science of phenology or to inform decisions is part of the USA-NPN. 

Nature's Notebook

Nature’s Notebook is a national phenology program in which professional and volunteer scientists record long-term observations of plant and animal life stages.

Vision

Providing data and information on the timing of seasonal events in plants and animals to ensure the well-being of humans, ecosystems, and natural resources.

Mission

The USA-NPN collects, organizes, and shares phenological data and information to aid decision-making, scientific discovery, and a broader understanding of phenology – the timing of seasonal events in plants and animals.

Core Values

INCLUSIVE We work closely with others. We listen carefully and respectfully to the needs and thoughts of our partners, participants, and stakeholders and use their input to shape our activities, products, and priorities. We recognize that being more inclusive and welcoming makes us stronger and are committed to deeper consideration of equity in all aspects of our work.

DEDICATED We take pride in delivering high-quality materials. We invest the time necessary to ensure that what we develop is accurate, thorough, and consistent. 

INNOVATIVE We push boundaries in the work we undertake, often forging ahead of others. Our work is original and interdisciplinary. We think creatively. We are not afraid of failure. We learn from our mistakes and rapidly adapt. We recognize that diverse perspectives and different ways of thinking about a problem lead to stronger and bolder solutions.

The National Coordinating Office

The efforts of the USA-NPN are organized and directed by the staff of the National Coordinating Office (NCO), located at the University of Arizona. The NCO connects people to phenology by (1) offering tools for understanding phenology, including the Nature's Notebook phenology observation program (2) providing timely and relevant phenology data and data products and (3) facilitating Communities of Practice by linking observers, Local Phenology Leaders, researchers, resource managers, and educators.

Specifically, the NCO:

  • Offers standardized approaches to monitoring phenology
  • Promotes the collection of high-quality long-term phenology observations
  • Maintains a national phenology information system, including Nature’s Notebook and the National Phenology Database
  • Assists federal agencies and other organizations in implementing Nature's Notebook on the ground according to their scientific, management, or educational objectives
  • Provides phenology data products and decision support tools
  • Facilitates phenology “Communities of Practice”
  • Communicates the value of phenology to participants and the public


The USA-NPN is an award-winning network: 

  • Shoemaker Award in Communications Excellence, Webpage category for the Status of Spring webpageUS Geological Survey, 2018
  • Climate Adaptation Leadership Award, Broad Partnership category, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, 2018
  • Annual Report Award of Excellence, Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards, National Association of Government Communicators, 2018
  • Outstanding Achievement Award, Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, 2017
  • Climate Champion, US Geological Survey, 2016
  • Greening the Department of the Interior, Honorable Mention, US Department of the Interior, 2016
  • Shoemaker Award in Communications Excellence, Website category for the Nature's Notebook website, US Geological Survey, 2014

Television series featuring the USA-NPN and Nature's Notebook: