Maine Extension and Sea Grant will offer citizen science trainings in April and May

A group of passionate individuals are currently taking part in workshops hosted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant to learn about rockweed phenology along the coast in Brunswick. These workshops, which form part of the Signs of the Seasons citizen science project, will help participants acquire the necessary tools and knowledge to establish their own observation sites and record changes in phenology.

The first training session is set for 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, at Stimpson’s Point in Brunswick. Additional workshops will take place in various locations such as Falmouth, Wells, Augusta, Camden, and Boothbay throughout April and May. Those unable to attend in person can also participate in a three-part webinar series that will provide them with an opportunity to learn from the comfort of their own homes.

During the workshops, participants will learn how to make scientific observations of phenology, practice making these observations and acquire the necessary tools and knowledge to establish their own observation sites. The goal of Signs of the Seasons is to recruit volunteers across the state to monitor and document changes in more than 20 different indicator species like rockweed, milkweed, loons, butterflies, and lilacs in order to better understand Maine’s evolving climate. The data collected by these volunteers contributes to a detailed record of the region’s seasonal transformations and is used by collaborating scientists and resource managers.

The workshops are free but registration on the program website is mandatory. For further information or to request accommodations, individuals can contact Keri Kaczor at keri.kaczor@maine.edu or 207

By Riley Johnson

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