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Coastal Extension and Sea Grant to host trainings on citizen science

In Brunswick, a group of citizen scientists are learning about rockweed phenology with the help of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant. These individuals are participating in the Signs of the Seasons citizen science project, which aims to recruit volunteers to identify and record changes in over 20 different indicator species like rockweed, milkweed, loons, butterflies, and lilacs. By collecting data on these species, volunteers are helping to create a detailed record of the region’s seasonal changes that can be used by collaborating scientists and resource managers.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant are hosting a series of in-person workshops for those interested in participating in the project. The first training is scheduled for Thursday, April 4 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Stimpson’s Point in Brunswick. Additional workshops will take place in Falmouth, Wells, Augusta, Camden, and Boothbay throughout April and May. A full schedule is available on the Signs of the Seasons webpage.

During these workshops, participants will learn how to make scientific observations of phenology, which is the study of cyclic and seasonal changes of plants and animals. They will practice making observations and leave with the tools and knowledge needed to set up their own observation site to record changes in phenology.

The workshops are free, but registration on the program website is required. For more information or to request reasonable accommodations, contact Keri Kaczor at keri.kaczor@maine.edu or Beth Bisson at beth

By Samantha Jones

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