Track pesky plants

Pesky Plant Trackers badge, plants and text

The online course is designed to help you track seasonal changes in wild parsnip and Japanese knotweed.

Below are additional resources about tracking seasonal change and using Nature's Notebook.


How to use Nature's Notebook for Pesky Plant Trackers

This video gives a conceptual map for how to use Nature's Notebook for Pesky Plant Trackers. Each step is explained in more detail in the videos below. Or, if you are ready to complete the training to become a citizen scientist, launch the online course.

Introduction to phenology

Three videos by the Minnesota Phenology Network introduce the science of phenology and how it is done.

Introduction to phenology

If you are new to phenology, this video series will help you become involved today!

This video introduces you to the concept and practice of keeping track of phenology. The seasonal rhythms and events that make each day a little different from the next are driven by changes in climate and sunlight. Whether you live in in the heart of St. Paul or on Minnesota’s north shore, there is always something going on!

There is no single way to appreciate the natural diversity of Minnasota’s prairies or the fragrant needles of our states northern Coniferous forest, but keeping a record of what you see can truly enhance the pleasure you get from looking. Your observations and records help us learn how a changing climate impacts Minnesota’s plants and animals.

Exploring phenophases

What exactly are we recording when observing phenology?

Maybe you already keep a nature journal or take photos of your garden changing from spring to summer. As a citizen scientist, you transform your enthusiasm for nature into observations that are important for science. This video familiarizes you with ‘phenophases’, or periods in a plant's or animal's life cycle that are influenced by temperature, rainfall, or the amount of light in a given day.

By studying the phenophases of your focal plant or animal, you will be able to collect consistent and accurate phenology records.

Measuring and monitoring

How can I be sure my observations are accurate and consistent?

In order for the phenology information that you gather to be useful to scientists, there must be consistency in how everyone records information. This video describes the steps that any citizen scientist should take to ensure that the data they record is accurate and consistent. For a complete list of tips and tricks for observing and recording, check out Minnesota Phenology Network's Citizen Scientist Handbook.

Nature's Notebook how-to videos

How to register an account

Pesky Plant Trackers observe as individuals. It is not necessary to join a "Partner Group" (see 0:45 in the video).

How to add your site

After finding the plant (or plants) you plan to track, you will need to add each plant as a site.

How to add a plant

Within your Nature's Notebook account, you will add plants (or other species) to your site. Participants track individual plants over a season or from year to year.

Nature's Notebook - other resources