Oct 03 2018

Citizen Science Inspires Deeper Connections

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Reflections from an Oregon Season Tracker, Susan Hoffman.

This past November, I attended the CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative, Rain, Hail and Snow Network) Citizen Science Training for Linn/Benton Counties. My husband and I left with a new water gage and a plan for daily measurement. We were also trained and encouraged to be part of Nature’s Notebook, a native plant/tree monitoring program thru the USA National Phenology Network.  What we have come to understand, is that the data we collect, which takes very little time and effort, adds to the collective data on our changing climate. At first, we just collected the water, emptied the gage and recorded the amount.  Then we started to comment to each other about how we never really noticed what one inch of rain was before…how much it had to rain, how long it took, the quality of the rain…and it got us outside in the garden, rain or shine, winter to summer, and now on to autumn. We also began a closer look at some of the native plants on our property….from winter form, to breaking leaf buds, increasing leaf size, flowers, fruiting, to fruit and leaf drop.

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