Coastal Extension and Sea Grant to host trainings on citizen science

Unleashing the Power of Citizen Science: Joining the Signs of the Seasons Project to Track Maine’s Seasonal Changes.

A group of aspiring citizen scientists are currently learning about rockweed phenology along the coast in Brunswick, as seen in a photo courtesy of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant are hosting a series of in-person workshops for individuals interested in joining the Signs of the Seasons citizen science project. The first training is scheduled for Thursday, April 4 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Stimpson’s Point in Brunswick, with additional workshops taking place in Falmouth, Wells, Augusta, Camden, and Boothbay throughout April and May. A full schedule can be found on the Signs of the Seasons webpage, and a 3-part webinar series is also available for those unable to attend in person.

During these workshops, participants will learn how to make scientific observations of phenology, which is the study of cyclic and seasonal changes of plants and animals. They 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 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 please contact Keri Kaczor at or Beth Bisson at beth.bisson@maine

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