Published On: Tue, Feb 25th, 2014

Park seeks volunteers interested in Citizen Science

Volunteers learn how to document and monitor phenology during training.  (NPS photo)

Volunteers learn how to document and monitor phenology during training. (NPS photo)

Volunteers are being sought by Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are seeking volunteers to help with an important research project, in an effort to better track nature’s calendar or phenology. Park rangers are recruiting volunteers willing to adopt a tree monitoring plot on the North Carolina side of the park. 

A tree phenology monitoring training will be held on Saturday, March 8 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the old Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee.  After training, volunteers will be assigned to a phenology plot to collect data throughout the growing season.  Plots are located near parking areas in Deep Creek, Fontana, Oconaluftee, Purchase Knob, Cataloochee, Clingmans Dome, Newfound Gap and Davenport Gap.

Information collected by volunteers will go into a national database that helps answer questions such as “Was spring early this year?” or “When will the fall colors peak?”.  Carefully tracking trees from early spring to late fall can help determine what is expected.  Monitoring phenology will help us to understand how earlier springs and cold snaps impact our mountain forests.

If you are interested in being a part of this special project please contact: Autumn Amici, Citizen Science Assistant Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Americorps Project Conserve, autumn_amici@partner.nps.gov or 497-1945.

For more information about phenology research efforts across the country visit—

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm

National Phenology Network: https://www.usanpn.org/

– NPS

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