Phenology is the study of how plants and animal life cycles change in response to seasonal changes and conditions such as temperature, length of daylight, and available moisture. In this lesson, you will study how climate change is affecting plant phenology specifically by observing the phases of one particular plant in your area.
Before you begin your project, though, learn more about climate change by viewing these two videos:
Now examine the Integrated Global System Model (ISGM) from MIT that describes what kinds of elements go into a model. At the picture of the diagram, "Click to view larger." This is a complicated model, so you will view this together as a class.
To get ideas for good candidate species to study in your locale, consult the website of your state university's Cooperative State Research and Educational Extension Service.
Before observing your plant, learn more about plant phenology by first doing the exercise on the Learning about Phenology student sheet. You can use the information found on p. 2 of Steps to Getting Started to complete the box on the student sheet.
Now go to Project BudBurst: Get Started to register as a Regular Observer or Single Report so you can participate in adding data to its database. Once you've registered, you'll be provided with the resources you need to report your observations.
This esheet is a part of the How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate lesson.