Phenology and Citizen Science from BioScience March 2010 is an easy-to-read article on the importance of citizen involvement in recording large data sets that can be extremely meaningful in phenological studies. Phenology is the study of the timing of the biological events in plants and animals such as flowering, leafing, hibernation, reproduction, and migration. Ecologists and other scientists evaluate the timing of such biological events in relation to changes in season and climate.
Lay-person participation in these “citizen science” programs is made very easy by using the web (check links above). Collecting data for these projects is a way to learn about field research and the scientific process and, more importantly, to make valuable contributions to numerous scientific studies that will provide a better understanding of changes in our environment.