Refuge managers can access protocols and tools to facilitate the collection and use of phenology information for decision-making.

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Refuge Management

The Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Initiative supports Refuge Managers and Staff by providing standardized methods and protocols to inform management decisions and to facilitate implementation of on-the-ground actions. Learn more.

Why is I&M embarking on Phenological Monitoring across the Refuge System?

  • Collection and analysis of phenological data provides information on potential changes in key biological events (e.g. migration and breeding times) and the resulting impact on ecosystem dynamics (e.g., water availability, carbon cycling, and disturbances such as fire and insect emergence).
  • "Citizen scientists" visiting the Refuges will help build awareness and public support for refuges and their monitoring activities.
  • To ensure that NWRS is a key contributor to a larger effort by providing data that will inform climate related management questions at local, landscape and regional scales.

What benefits will refuges and managers see as a result of collaborating with the USA National Phenology Network?

  • Refuges will have ready access to established protocols and a centralized data information system for phenological data.
  • Refuges will have access to tools customized for easy input and output of phenological data.
  • Refuges will have access to analysis and decision support tools to inform the timing of management actions and the overall implementation of adaptive refuge management.

Are you…

Interested in Starting Phenology Monitoring on your Refuge?

First visit our Refuge Staff Member page and following the preliminary steps to get started. These will guide you in registering your Refuge in the web-based Nature’s Notebook phenology monitoring program, where you can easily store, organize, and share your phenological data as part of the National Phenology Database.

Already Monitoring Phenology?

Do you already have phenology data for your Refuge?  If you’re storing it locally, consider transferring your data to the National Phenology Database via the Nature’s Notebook on-line interface, where you can register your data set with our Data Registry Tool, use the Bulk Upload Tool for data collected using USA-NPN protocols, or continue your monitoring effort by adopting the USA-NPN's standardized protocols.


See the Phenology Toolbox in the sidebar for more information on tools and protocols!


For further information on how to get started with your Refuge Science and Management staff, contact: Jana Newman, USFWS I&M Chief or Erin Posthumus, USA-NPN Liaison to the USFWS.

Are you interested in ways to engage Visitors with helping to answer phenological questions? For information on how to get stated with your Visitor Services or education staff, contact LoriAnne Barnett, USA-NPN Education Coordinator.