Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn Community, Conservation & Citizen Science - Page 11

are exploring, and similar research has been undertaken by citizen-science programs all around the globe. Preparations for the phenology study began in 2015. The ten species were selected, a three-section trail was established, and maps, data sheets, and ID workbooks were created. Volunteers participated in a classroom phenology training and a field ID training in March 2016. They were asked to walk at least one section of the trail every week with binoculars and a data sheet to record their observa- tions. Over the course of the spring, volunteer numbers grew to thirty-two, and many participated in tutorial walks to improve their observational and data collecting abilities. Brooks Mathewson M.F.S. joined us in the role of project consultant to lead trainings and analyze and report on collected data. After a brief summer hiatus, data collection resumed in the fall of 2016. You can find a link to the 2016 data on our website mountauburn.org. Phenology trainings were held again in March 2017. This year our volunteer numbers stand at forty. In addition to the phenology study, a second citizen- science program has been implemented in 2017 to document microclimates. The term microclimate describes the climate of a small, defined area that differs from that of the larger, surrounding area. This study includes an eighteen-point trail designed to record the ground-surface, ambient, and dew-point temperatures, along with measuring relative humidity, sun exposure, and moisture at each point. The general data from our operation center weather station is also recorded. Several important factors can impact a microclimate area, including slope, sun exposure, and soil composition. Wind, water holding capacity, and erosion are influenced by these factors and all impact the success or failure of plantings in these locations. This study will help us to better understand the differences within microclimates at Mount Auburn, which may be considerable, and to tailor plant selection to meet specialized growing conditions. If you are concerned about the potential impacts of cli- mate disruption, or if you just want to get closer to nature, the Mount Auburn Citizen Science program may be a great volunteer opportunity for you.To volunteer, contact: Paul Kwiatkowski, Wildlife Conservation & Sustainability Manger, at pkwiatkowski@mountauburn.org. Clockwise from top: Joe Martinez, Harvard University Curatorial Assistant, Department of Herpetology, Museum of Comparative Zoology; Jim Gorman, Mount Auburn Cemetery Visitor Services Assistant; Brooks Mathewson, Naturalist and Photographer; Paul Kwiatkowski, Mount Auburn Cemetery Wildlife Conservation & Sustainability Manager Species in the Phenology Study Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba) Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) White Oak (Quercus alba) Red Oak (Quercus rubra) Black Oak (Quercus velutina) 2017 Volume 2 | 9