Saturday, February 16, 2008

Project BudBurst

I was half awake listening to my favorite radio show LOE, Living on Earth and happened to hear about Project BudBurst. LOE is on at 6:00 am on Saturday so I'm usually asleep and just catch bits of the show as I go in and out of somnolence. It was fortunate I was awake for this part of the show or I would be in complete ignorance about this program.

Project BudBurst enlists citizen scientists (you) to observe and record various events in your garden or (neighborhood?) ..."taking careful observations of the phenological events such as the first bud burst, first leafing, first flower, and seed or fruit dispersal of a diversity of tree and flower species, including weeds and ornamentals."

"Last year's inaugural event drew thousands of people of all ages..." "The citizen science observations and records were entered into the BudBurst data base. As a result of the pilot field campaign, useful data was collected in a consistent way across the country so that scientists can use it to learn about the responses of individual plant species to climatic variation locally, regionally, and nationally, and to detect longer-term impacts of climate change by comparing with historical data. Due to the enthusiastic response and robust participation in the 2007 we have expanded the Web site features for Project BudBurst in 2008!"

If you scroll down on the LOE website to Project BudBurst and click on it, there's a transcript of the segment. Or you can go directly to the Project Budburst site for more information.

The 2008 project just started YESTERDAY! February 15th.

I think this would be a fun thing to do especially when plants are beginning to bud and flowers will be bursting forth soon.

My readership is small so I would encourage all who read this and who have their own blogs to do a write up. This way we can reach as many gardeners as possible. The more input the project has the more accurate the picture of how global warming is affecting the growth of plants.

P.S. I just registered on the website. There are specific plants on their watch list. These were chosen because they were easily identifiable to most people but you can add your own plants as well. It was interesting to find the exact location of where I live (longitude and latitude) by using the UCAR EO Geocoder. You just type in your address and the Geocoder spits out your long. and lat. I guess if you had a GPS receiver it could give you the same information but with more accuracy and even give you the correct elevation. I had to do a Google search to find out the average elevation for my town.

Project BudBurst is a collaboration of the following institutions and organizations:

Management Team:
Chicago Botanic Garden,
National Phenology Network,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
UCAR Office of Education and Outreach,
Windows to the Universe,
University of Arizona,
University of California, Santa Barbara,
University of Montana,
University of Wisconsin, Madison,
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee,

Associated Partners:
Plant Conservation Alliance,
USDA Forest Service,


Blogger kate said...

There is a similar programme in Canada where I registered last year.

It's a great project - maybe might be a way to get the word out. I saw a blog entry about this -

Finally today, our temperature went above freezing - not by much, but enough to make it feel positively spring-like.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll join in and pass this along on my blog. Great info!

6:54 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate,
I guess the project was started last year but I didn't know about it then. Glad to see someone else - Tales from the Microbial Lab - has picked up on it. The more it's advertised the better the sampling. I looked at the stats from last year and it wasn't extensive even if they said it was a great success. Hopefully more people will participate this year. Thanks for the Blotanical info. Joined the site so hopefully the info will be shared.

We are in a strange 2-3 day cycle of warm and cold days. It's been a wet winter too with precip coming luckily on the warm days as rain. Thanks for the comment and info.


Hello Robin (Seasonseatingsfarm),
Great! Thanks for posting the info.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

This weather is a real roller coaster. I going to head over there and check it Bud Burst.

I have found digital photos to be a good local reference of timing since it is easy to see the dates.

I loved the series of berries photos from a while back. Very interesting collection.

Your yellow flowered scan maybe hawkweed Hieracium pratense

3:04 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Chris,
You're right. Photos are a great way to see when flowers break bud because they are date stamped.

Some of the viburnums have interesting berries as well but I didn't include most since they were long gone when I posted the berry article.

Thanks for the flower ID. I looked it up in my beloved little "Wildflowers in Color" book and I believe you are right. I must apologize for looking at your photos but not commenting in a while. It seems like so many things need attending and I don't have much time but to look anymore.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Pam said...

I was thinking that more of the gardening folks would jump on the Project Budburst opportunity - much of it is what they do already. Perhaps there is a better way, such as through Blotanical (which I am not very active in - rather, I don't have a profile or whatever). There's another site I heard about today that you might already be aware of:

The Great Sunflower Project

Focused on monitoring bees. It is easy and would be fun - especially for kids I think. If I remember, I'll try and post about it later.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

I thought so too Pam but have gotten little response. Bud burst/break happens before things get too busy in spring but this is added work on top of everything else. I intend to do it diligently for this year and see how the results turn out. They would need a good long time span too see much of a change imo.

I saw your post of the Sunflower project. Indeed it would be fun for kids. They do try to get you to identify the bees but don't suggest any native bees or bee- like flies. I guess these would all be lumped in the "Don't Know" category. :)

6:53 PM  

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