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Citizen scientist training offered around state

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ORONO Despite Maine's most recent snowstorm, spring is on its way. Common signs of the season, such as an increase in morning birdsong or a crocus pushing through the soil are just a few indicators of a much larger cycle of seasonal changes that affect the plants, animals and humans of Maine.

The study of these seasonal changes is called phenology, and it can help illuminate the local effects of a changing climate. This is the focus of 'Signs of the Seasons,' a 6-year-old University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant program that runs with the help of volunteers.

Volunteers of all ages are invited to become citizen scientists through trainings offered around the state between now and the end of June. New this year, a subset of trainings will focus on observing loons, as well as 18 other indicator species.

In hands-on training, participants will learn how to identify and record changes in plants and animals found in their own backyards, schoolyards, and other favorite outdoor locations. Information collected by participants contribute to an online database hosted by the National Phenology Network.

All trainings are free and open to the public; registration is required. You can find more information and registeronline (, or contact Pam Doherty at(207) 832-0343. To request a disability accommodation, contact Esperanza Stancioff, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at(207) 832-0343.

Last modified on Tuesday, 29 March 2016 16:55


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