Coastal Extension and Sea Grant to host trainings on citizen science

A series of workshops is being offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant for individuals interested in participating in the Signs of the Seasons citizen science project. The first training session will take place on Thursday, April 4 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Stimpson’s Point in Brunswick, with additional workshops scheduled in Falmouth, Wells, Augusta, Camden, and Boothbay throughout April and May.

The workshops will focus on teaching participants how to make scientific observations of phenology, which is the study of cyclic and seasonal changes of plants and animals. Participants will practice making observations and leave with the tools and knowledge needed to set up their own observation site to record changes in phenology. Signs of the Seasons is a statewide effort to recruit volunteers to identify and record changes in over 20 different indicator species like rockweed, milkweed, loons, butterflies, and lilacs, which are crucial for understanding Maine’s changing climate. The data collected by volunteers helps to create a detailed record of the region’s seasonal changes that can be used by collaborating scientists and resource managers.

The workshops are free but registration on the program website is required. For more information or to request reasonable accommodations, contact Keri Kaczor at or Beth Bisson at beth.bisson@maine

By Samantha Johnson

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