The Jackson Hole area has been a large contributor to the CSO program and the CSO team will begin developing snowpack models of that region in response to this large participation. Snow is not the only citizen science opportunity in the area, however! Corinna Riginos and Trevor Bloom would like your help gathering data on phenology (timing of ecological events) in the area surrounding Jackson.
The timing of when plants flow and fruit is critical to the survival of many animals, from bees to hummingbirds to grizzly bears. With the onset of climate change, this timing is beginning to shift and may have a ripple effect throughout the food chain. To get a handle on understanding the changing phenology in the area, and how phenology responds to temperature and snowmelt timing, the Nature Conservancy in Wyoming has ramped up a data collection campaign by its staff scientists, and has also begun a citizen scientist campaign to obtain data. Including the public as citizen scientists will inform people about how climate change is affecting their environment and will provide them with tangible actions they can take to reduce the impacts.
Anyone who wants to help can join the Wildflower Watch citizen science program each spring and summer. After a short training, new citizen scientists will out and collecting data! In addition to benefitting ecological understanding in the Jackson area, the data collected by citizen scientist will be added to the U.S. National Phenology Network database, giving scientists and planners a larger view of how climate change is affecting plants and animals across the country. Contact Trevor Bloom to learn more and see the Wildflower Watch Facebook page for updates and news.