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Citizen Science


(Left to right) Marilyn Reedy, Trish Hargrove, Nancy Stewart, and Vivian Stacy on their phenology walk.

The Adkins Arboretum phenology project was launched by Chesapeake Conservation Corps member Blake Steiner in 2018. The USA National Phenology Network has an impressive training program designed to empower citizen scientists across the country to start their own program and collect data about the plants and animals in their area.

What is phenology? Phenology is the study of seasonal changes as observed in plants and animals and how those changes are impacted by climate. Phenology considers biological events such as leaf flush, flowering, or nesting over time to better understand how these cycles are shifting year to year.

The Adkins Phenology Project is currently a volunteer-led program that meets every other week and observes nine species of plants and animals throughout the Arboretum. These observations are entered into Nature’s Notebook, an online database that the USA National Phenology Network uses to collect data and share with scientists, researchers, and the public.

For more information about volunteering, contact Jenny Houghton at