Coastal Extension and Sea Grant to host trainings on citizen science

A group of aspiring citizen scientists are learning about rockweed phenology along the coast in Brunswick in a photo courtesy of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant are hosting 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, with additional workshops in Falmouth, Wells, Augusta, Camden, and Boothbay throughout April and May.

At the workshops, participants will learn how to make scientific observations of phenology, which is the study of cyclic and seasonal changes of plants and animals. They will practice making observations and leave with the tools and knowledge needed to set up their own observation site to record changes in phenology. Signs of the Seasons is a statewide effort to recruit volunteers to identify and record changes in over 20 different indicator species like rockweed, milkweed, loons, butterflies, and lilacs, which are crucial for understanding Maine’s changing climate.

The data collected by volunteers helps to create a detailed record of the region’s seasonal changes that can be used by collaborating scientists and resource managers. The workshops are free

By Riley Johnson

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