SFEP Small Grant SG#11 – Phenology Project on Solano Land Trust Properties

Small Grant 2013 – Solano Land Trust’s Phenology Project

Small Grant: $2,500

The project’s goal was to develop a self-sustaining citizen scientist phenology monitoring program that increases public participation with the outdoors and with nature and contributes data to nationwide climate change research.

The Solano Land Trust’s (SLT) Phenology Program engages volunteers to become citizen scientists and participate in phenological monitoring of the seasonal changes in plants. The SFEP Small Grant funded an intern at SLT who developed a training session for volunteer citizen scientists to understand phenological data collection. SLT’s intern utilized the California Phenology Project of the National Phenology Network website as a tool for establishing a Phenology Program best suited for SLT properties and volunteers. Resources were adapted to create a SLT site specific protocol, and then presented to new volunteers at several training sessions.

These citizen scientists understand that their data (uploaded into the nationwide database) will be used by larger organizations in the long term effort to study climate change. They learned how to participate in the Phenology Program, were orientated to selected monitoring sites, and learned how to recruit and train additional citizen scientists so that the volunteer program can keep growing.

Once the training was complete, the newly graduated citizen scientists started to collect data and will contribute their phenological observations to the database year-round. This program developed easy to use and understandable protocols, stream-lined training sessions, and increased knowledge of local open space and climate change implications.

Photos by the Solano Land Trust