The seasons are changing and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to tell whether it spring, summer, fall or winter. If you are a nature lover you may have noticed recently that the dates and times robins and other birds come out to build their nests are changing. Perhaps you’ve even noticed other creatures that are varying the habits that you know they’ve followed over the course of your own life. The timing of normal seasonal activity of the weather, plants and animals is one primary indicator that the earth’s environment is changing.
Knowing this, our personal observations might be of some help to scientists who could use the data that we observe and collect to help monitor species that might be invasive. The data could also help predict abnormal weather patterns, wildfires and other natural calamities as well as how plants and animals are adapting to the new climate changes. In order to track and compile data, professionals are now relying on more than 4000 volunteers like you and me who can record our observations online at usanpn.org. As citizens, acting as amateur scientists we are what some professionals are counting on to take the pulse of the planet and help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species. One more thing that we can all do on our own is to clean any outdoor recreation gear and not release unwanted pets or dump the contents of an unwanted aquarium into the wild.