Coastal Conversations Radio Program: Phenology and Citizen Science on the Coast

Coastal Conversations show: September 25, 2015
WERU 89.9 in Blue Hill and 99.9 in Bangor
Host: Natalie Springuel, Maine Sea Grant

audio frequency iconListen to the show on WERU archives

Using their backyards as laboratories, participants in the Signs of the Seasons program help scientists document the local effects of global climate change. Hundreds are trained to observe and record the phenology (seasonal changes) of common plants and animals living in their own communities – a citizen science project that fills a gap in regional climate research. Volunteers across Maine and now New Hampshire record seasonal changes such as the growth of rockweed, an intertidal seaweed, the nesting activities of loons, and the leafout and blooming times of trees and garden shrubs. The goal is to build a rich, detailed record of the region’s seasonal turns, a resource too costly to build without a network of citizen volunteers. The collected data are made available to our collaborating scientists and resource managers.

This is Natalie Springuel, from the University of Maine Sea Grant, host of Coastal Conversations. On our next program, we will talk about phenology, or the tracking of seasonal changes, with Hannah Weber of Schoodic Institute, Abe Miller-Rushing of Acadia National Park, Susan Gallo of Maine Audubon, and Esperanza Stancioff, of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant.

As always, your insights and questions about the seasonal changes you see in your own backyard are welcome. So, make a note to tune in Friday morning, September 25 from 10 to 11AM, when this month’s Coastal Conversation is about phenology and the Signs of the Season on the Maine coast. Only on WERU community radio, 89.9 FM in Blue Hill, 99.9 in Bangor, and online at


Esperanza Stancioff, Associate Extension Professor, UMaine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant
Hannah Weber, Research and Education Projects Manager, Schoodic Institute
Abe Miller-Rushing, Science Coordinator, Acadia National Park
Susan Gallo, Wildlife Biologist, Maine Audubon

For More Information

Signs of the Seasons
USA National Phenology Network
The Maine Loon Count, Maine Audubon
Citizen Science at Schoodic Institute

audio frequency iconListen to the show on WERU archives
More information about Coastal Conversations Radio Program