UMaine Extension and Sea Grant to host citizen science trainings in April and May

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Volunteer community scientists practice making phenological observations of common plants during a training session co-hosted by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Photo provided.

ORONO – University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant will host a series of in-person workshops for individuals interested in participating in the Signs of the Seasons citizen science project. The first training is scheduled for Thursday, April 4 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Stimpson’s Point in Brunswick. Additional workshops will be held throughout April and May in Falmouth, Wells, Augusta, Camden and Boothbay. For a full schedule, visit the Signs of the Seasons webpage. A 3-part webinar series is also available for those unable to attend in-person.

Participants will learn how to make scientific observations of phenology (the study of cyclic and seasonal changes of plants and animals), practice making observations, and leave with the tools and knowledge needed to set up their own site to observe and record changes in phenology.

Signs of the Seasons is a statewide effort to recruit volunteers to identify and record changes in more than 20 different indicator species like rockweed, milkweed, loons, butterflies and lilacs, that are important for understanding Maine’s changing climate. Data from this network of volunteers helps build a rich, detailed record of the region’s seasonal turns which is made available to collaborating scientists and resource managers.

The workshops are free but registration on the program website is required. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Keri Kaczor, keri.kaczor@maine.edu, 207.974.9502 or Beth Bisson, beth.bisson@maine.edu.

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