March 20, 2019
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Signs of the Seasons to host volunteer trainings at beginning of ninth season

Community Author: Elisabeth Maxwell
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Signs of the Seasons | Contributed
Signs of the Seasons | Contributed

The Signs of the Seasons (SOS) program is hosting several upcoming volunteer training events for people interested in observing phenology, the seasonal timing of biological events. This program provides an opportunity for citizens to contribute to science through making observations of common species such as American robins, monarch butterflies, loons, lilac and more. Using their backyards as laboratories, citizen scientists record information about the occurrence of leaf-out, flowering, nest building and other events. Data collected through SOS is used by researchers and managers to better understand how a changing climate will impact species native to New England.

Currently scheduled trainings:

— March 14, 4:30-7 p.m.. Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, ME.

— March 29, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Wells, ME.

— March 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Location TBD, Kennebunk, ME. *Coastal SOS training

— April 3, 4:30-7 p.m.. Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth, ME.

— April 13. Citizen Science Day at Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, ME.

— April 29. 12:30-3:30 p.m. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME.

Additional trainings may be scheduled. Trainings are free and open to the public, but prior registration is requested. Individuals interested in participating can register online through the Signs of the Seasons website ( or by contacting Elisabeth Maxwell at

*Coastal SOS is specific to monitoring Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) along Maine’s intertidal zone. This is highly rewarding but uses a more intricate protocol and requires reasonable proximity to coastal sites.