Evolving plans for the USA National Phenology Network



Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events, how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, and how they modulate the abundance, diversity, and interactions of organisms. The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) is currently being organized to engage federal agencies, environmental networks and field stations, educational institutions, and citizen scientists. The first USA-NPN planning workshop was held August 2005, in Tucson, Ariz. (Betancourt et al. [2005]; http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/Geography/npn/; by 1 June 2007, also see http://www.usanpn.org). With sponsorship from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and NASA, the second USA-NPN planning workshop was held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on 10–12 October 2006 to (1) develop lists of target species and observation protocols; (2) identify existing networks that could comprise the backbone of nationwide observations by 2008; (3) develop opportunities for education, citizen science, and outreach beginning in spring 2007; (4) design strategies for implementing the remote sensing component of USA-NPN; and (5) draft a data management and cyberinfrastructure plan.