"Phenology - the timing of seasonal activities of animals and plants - is perhaps the simplest process in which to track changes in the ecology of species in response to climate change." (IPCC 2007)
Phenologyis the study of recurring seasonal activities in plants and animals: flowers bloom, birds sing, bears hibernate. Today, monitoring seasonal activities is more important than ever, as we work to understand impacts of urbanization, invasive species, and climate change on native species, natural communities, and human health.
Radford Phenology Monitoring
Radford University faculty and students are monitoring seasonal changes in plant and animal communities in Virginia's Appalachian Mountains. Our field sites are located in urban and protected natural areas, where we are working to document biodiversity patterns and investigate species responses to urbanization, non-native invasive species & climate change.
Our monitoring follows standardized field protocols established by the USA National Phenology Network. This consortium of scientists, resource managers, educators, and citizen-scientists collects data on more than 1,200 species of plants and animals across the United States (Denny et al. 2004).
Spring 2018 Monitoring Projects
Trees & Shrubs
Our monitoring data are entered into Nature's Notebook, USA-NPN’s online data management system, where it contributes to long-term phenology research. Thus, our monitoring efforts help to uncover seasonal and year-to-year variations in species and to improve management decisions for protected natural areas.
Data from Nature's Notebook is open-access and available for use in scientific research, conservation management, education, and to increase public awareness of local species, ecosystems, and conservation priorities.
Radford University Field Biology & Phenology
Field Biology & Phenology (BIOL 481) is a undergraduate, project-based course at Radford University. In Spring 2018, Dr. Christine Small and 22 biology students established long-term monitoring sites in southwest Virginia to explore seasonal changes in Appalachian plants & wildlife. Our projects contribute to the Radford Phenology Monitoring Project and the USA National Phenology Network.
Check out our phenology monitoring projects!
Dr. Christine Small Department of Biology Radford University Radford, Virginia 24142 firstname.lastname@example.org