|Wednesday What's New: Project Budburst|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 13 March 2013|
Never heard of Project Budburst? I hadnít either until a few days ago. Project Budburst, which began on February 15, 2008, is about citizen environmentalists tracking climate change through observation in their very own yards and gardens. How so? By observing when plants bud, leaf out, and flower and then recording it.
Project Budburst volunteers (thatís you and me) will then record their observations in a database and the Project Budburst team will use the data to form a better picture of just how global warming affects us now and in the future. Ecosystem changes are often slow to occur and most of us are not aware of them except over a period of time, say, 20 years.
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, UCAR, a consortium of 70 universities, is the force behind Project Budburst. According to an Environment News Service release, project coordinator Sandra Henderson of UCAR's Office of Education and Outreach says, "Project BudBurst is designed to help both adults and children understand the changing relationship among climate, seasons, and plants, while giving the participants the tools to communicate their observations to others."
Operating year round, each volunteer chooses at least one plant to observe. For a list of suggested plants such as the spring beauty pictured above, or more information, visit the Project Budburst website.