OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

FAQ

What is citizen science?

Scientists alone cannot collect enough data, they need your help. Citizen Science is people like you that have an interest in science, the natural world, and contributing to real world projects.  They learn protocols, collect date and make observations to contribute to scientific study.  Projects can be simple locally based, all the way up to global in scale.  It is a way to extend scientific knowledge and discovery on a scale greater than ever thought possible.

What is phenology?

Nature’s Notebook defines phenology as referring to key seasonal changes in plants and animals from year to year—such as flowering, emergence of insects and migration of birds—especially their timing and relationship with weather and climate.

Why is collecting precipitation and phenology data important?

Oregon Season Tracker data is a public asset.  Researchers, resource managers, educators and others use your data for scientific discovery and decision-making. Phenology and weather data helps predict drought, flooding, wildfires, and pest infestations.  It can influence when to plant, irrigate, and harvest.  It is used by Oregon researchers at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and PRISM, and is used nationally by the National Weather Service, hydrologists, emergency managers, USDA, ranchers, farmers, forest managers, and policy & decision makers.

What are the benefits of OST to me?

Have fun outdoors, meet new people, learn about your microclimate, and hone your observation skills.    As an observer you will notice more about your surroundings, and your connections with the place you live. Your data, as well as all the data housed at Nature’s Notebook and CoCoRaHS is accessible for your for your own studies