Yesterday there was a great story on the local Colorado public radio station KCFR that talked about the importance of everyday observations. The story, The Hermit and the Marmots by Zachary Barr, talks about phenology, (the scientific study of periodic biological phenomena, such as flowering, breeding, and migration, in relation to climatic conditions), and how important the data collected from phenological observations is to the study of climate change.
In order to really understand the effects of these changes scientists need lots of data on pretty much every plant and animal you can think of all the way down to a simple backyard dandelion, which is exactly the place where kids can start to get involved!
By taking regular notes on local plants and animals and entering that data on the National Phenology Network' s website, kids can help scientists learn more about global warming and the effects of climate change!
The key is, it can be something very simple like a backyard dandelion, neighborhood squirrels, or just the tree you pass every day on your way to the playground. But, kids (and parents!) can get involved in something great and truly helpful, and also learn a little about the environment in the process!
Here is a direct link to their introductory program Project BudBurst