Monday, February 13, 2017

Citizen Science Project at WVU Core Arboretum

The WVU Core Arboretum is asking for volunteers for a phenology walk this year.

A phenology walk is a mapped trail with a series of marked plants that citizen scientists observe regularly to record the phenophase.  We will use the Nature’s Notebook website ( which is administered by the USA National Phenology Network (NPN) as the web interface for our phenology walk.  Nature’s Notebook is a website that anyone can join and record observations of phenology and places like arboreta can use to develop phenology walks.  A phenology walk is a good tool for science because with many people observing the same plants it is easier to pinpoint the timing of phenophase changes.  A phenology walk is also a great way to get people started collecting data that they can collect anywhere.  

We are seeking volunteers to participate in this citizen science project.  There will be training sessions in mid-March to teach volunteers all about phenology, how to observe phenophases, and the Nature’s Notebook web interface.  There will also be on-site tours to orient volunteers to the phenology walk and point out the mapped and tagged trees.  Participants should plan to visit the Arboretum regularly in spring and fall to do the phenology walk and record data.  We will be available throughout the project to answer questions and help participants.

We here at the Arboretum are really excited about this project, and we look forward to getting lots of citizen scientists engaged with the process of science and generating real data this spring!  If you would like to volunteer to join the program, or if you have any questions, please email Zach Fowler, WVU Core Arboretum Director, at

Zach Fowler
WVU Core Arboretum Director
Clinical Assistant Professor
WVU Department of Biology

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