Directional climate change will have profound and lasting effects throughout society that are best understood through fundamental physical and biological processes. One such process is phenology: how the timing of recurring biological events is affected by biotic and abiotic forces. Phenology is an early and integrative indicator of climate change readily understood by nonspecialists. Phenology affects the planting, maturation, and harvesting of food and fiber; pollination; timing and magnitude of allergies and disease; recreation and tourism; water quantity and quality; and ecosystem function and resilience. Thus, phenology is the gateway to climatic effects on both managed and unmanaged ecosystems.