Project PhToM – Phenology Trackers of Maine


The Downeast Phenology Trail was created to help advance scientific research here in the park and throughout all of Downeast Maine all while providing the opportunity to engage citizen scientists in the data collection process.

What is Phenology?

Phenology, or nature’s calendar, is the study of plant and animal life cycle events. It includes tracking the timing of flowering and fruiting plants, emergence of insects, and bird migrations.

Why is phenology important to us?

Millions of songbirds migrate south every fall along the northeast coastline. As they travel the long distances needed to reach their southern destinations they need stopover sites where they can refuel on fruits and insects.

As the climate changes here temperatures are increasing. As things heat up the timing of fruits ripening and insects emerging is happening earlier and earlier. But, as things heat up, birds are flying south later and later. Will there be any fruits or insects left for the birds when they fly through our region?  

Here’s what we need to know-Is climate change creating a mismatch between fall migrating birds and their food source-fruits and insects?

Schoodic Institute has partnered up with the National Phenology Network, to use their Nature’s Notebook citizen science tool, along with Acadia National Park, Blue Hill Heritage Trust, Downeast Lakes Land Trust, Fields Pond Audubon Center, Island Heritage Trust, Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, and Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge to set up the Downeast Phenology Trail–where you can collect data to help us answer our question.

The Downeast Phenology Trail is spread over 9 trails located throughout all of Downeast Maine.



Site Map


Why become a volunteer?

By becoming a volunteer you will:

  • Help us capture the changes in Maine’s phenology in the face of climate change.
  • Learn how to look and connect with plants and animals in a completely new way.
  • Start to notice and become more aware of the intricate details of the nature surrounding you.

Your observations will help researchers, here at Schoodic and nationwide, answer scientific research questions that help make management decisions. Register for training HERE!

Join us for one of our Citizen Science Trainings

  • Learn to use common citizen science tools-Nature’s Notebook, eBird, and iNaturalist
  • Find out more about our Phenology Trail
  • Get out collecting data and having fun on one of our partnering organizations trails

Training Dates


July 11, 2018    •    July 18, 2018    •    July 25, 2018    •    August 1, 2018    •    August 8, 2018    •    August 15, 2018    •    August 22, 2018    •    August 29, 2018

Trainings are from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, at Wright Hall on the Schoodic Institute campus in Winter Harbor

Register for one of our trainings:


Contact Us


We welcome you to email us at: