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Students from Half Moon Bay High School collect plant data as part of our Redwoods and Climate Change High School Program.

Tracking Seasonal Changes in Our Parks

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What determines when shrubs bloom? The study of seasonal life cycle events such as this is called phenology, and gathering long-term data on these cycles is the focus of the California Phenology Project (CPP). Collecting data is simple, and anyone can participate. For the past couple of months, I’ve been tracking some plants in Redwood Regional Park as part of the Redwood Phenology Project by Save the Redwoods League and the East Bay Regional Park District.

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Fern Watch volunteers at Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve.

Watching Ferns in the Redwoods for Signs of Climate Change

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The sword fern, one of the most common redwood forest plants, has become prominent in my life over the past few years. This is mostly due to the League’s Fern Watch project, which monitors the health of sword ferns throughout the redwood range. Even though these ferns are common, little is known about their ecology and how they respond to climatic change.

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High school students get hands-on experience studying climate change in the redwood forest at Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve.

High School Students as Citizen Scientists

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If you ask high school students what the impacts of climate change have been, they can tell you that the polar ice caps are melting, that we have extreme weather, and that California has been in a drought for the past few years. But if you ask them how climate change will affect our forests and the plants and animals that live in them, they find it harder to come up with an answer.

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Students collect data on sword ferns as part of our citizen science program Fern Watch.

Citizen Scientists Take Over

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Last week, I participated in the first-ever citizen science conference put on by the Citizen Science Association. This major event attracted over 600 people from 26 different countries! Science buzz was in the air, and the talks covered a range … Continued

Marin high school students use their cell phones to participate in Redwood Watch, our citizen science program.

Using Cell Phones for Science

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These days, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that many people spend more time on their cell phones — checking email, posting to Facebook, playing games— than they do out in nature. This trend seems especially prevalent among our … Continued

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