June 21, 2024

Seasonal Observations: Maine Workshops Train Citizen Scientists for Climate Change Studies

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Citizen Science Trainings to Be Hosted by Extension and Sea Grant

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant will be hosting a series of in-person workshops for individuals interested in joining the Signs of the Seasons citizen science project. The first training session is set for Thursday, April 4th from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Stimpson’s Point in Brunswick. Additional workshops will take place in Falmouth, Wells, Augusta, Camden, and Boothbay throughout April and May. A comprehensive schedule of workshops can be found on the Signs of the Seasons website. In addition to in-person workshops, a 3-part webinar series is also available for those unable to attend in person.

During the workshops, participants will learn how to conduct scientific observations of phenology, which is the study of cyclic and seasonal changes in plants and animals. They will practice making observations and leave with the tools and knowledge necessary to establish their own observation site to record changes in phenology. The goal of Signs of the Seasons is to recruit volunteers to identify and record changes in over 20 different indicator species, including rockweed, milkweed, loons, butterflies, and lilacs. These observations are critical for understanding Maine’s changing climate.

Data collected by volunteers participating in Signs of the Seasons is used to create a detailed record of seasonal changes in the region. This data is shared with collaborating scientists and resource managers for further analysis. The workshops are free to attend but require registration on the program website. For more information or to request reasonable accommodation, contact Keri Kaczor at keri.kaczor@maine.edu or Beth Bisson at beth

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