Friday, February 28, 2014

Great Smokies Seeks Volunteers Interested in Citizen Science

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking volunteers to help with an important research project, in an effort to better track nature’s calendar or phenology. Park rangers are recruiting volunteers willing to adopt a tree monitoring plot on the North Carolina side of the park.

A tree phenology monitoring training will be held on Saturday March 8, 2014 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the old Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC. After training, volunteers will be assigned to a phenology plot to collect data throughout the growing season. Plots are located near parking areas in Deep Creek, Fontana, Oconaluftee, Purchase Knob, Cataloochee, Clingmans Dome, Newfound Gap and Davenport Gap.

Information collected by volunteers will go into a national database that helps answer questions such as “Was spring early this year?” or “When will the fall colors peak?”. Carefully tracking trees from early spring to late fall can help determine what is expected. Monitoring phenology will help us to understand how earlier springs and cold snaps impact our mountain forests.

If you are interested in being a part of this special project please contact:

Autumn Amici
Citizen Science Assistant
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Americorps Project Conserve
Phone: (828) 497-1945

For more information about phenology research efforts across the country visit the National Phenology Network.


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