Documenting Climate Change in your Backyard

Alyson Eberhardt leading volunteers

Citizen scientists in southeastern N.H. are documenting small-scale impacts of climate change in their backyards and neighborhoods. Equipped with pencils and data sheets or simply an app on their mobile device, these volunteers will meticulously record the dates of seemingly innocuous events: What date the tree buds open up, when chipmunks begin scurrying through the yard, and when blackbirds begin nesting in nearby marshes.

The volunteers, led by NHSG/UNHCE coastal ecosystems specialist Alyson Eberhardt, are currently receiving training in phenology — seasonal changes — of plants and animals.

"Phenology is nature's calendar," Eberhardt explained. "It's the timing of plant and animal life cycle events: Migration, reproduction, senescence. If you have seasonal allergies, you're probably already aware of the timing of plants releasing their pollen."  Read more at NH Sea Grant