Note: please enter the meeting before 7:15, as no one will be allowed in after that time.
The Bitterroot Phenological Society (BPS) is an informal collaborative effort developed by Paul Belanger and Samantha O'Byrne. As stated on the Facebook Page, the BPS "facilitates positive outdoor experiences, led by local naturalists, in the city Parks and throughout the Bitterroot Valley to build our collective knowledge, understanding and connection to the rhythms of the natural world - its Phenology."
Phenology is the study of the seasonal timing of life cycle events of organisms in the natural world. These phenological indicators, such as the first flowering Buttercup or the arrival of the first bluebird, "can be thought of as biological timepieces that respond to seasonal variation between years.” These indicators have become an important tool for better assessing the impact of climate change on species, populations, and ecological communities. This is not a new addition to the scientists’ toolbox. Farmers, ranchers, gardeners, birders, nature lovers, hunters, and indigenous peoples have used the timing of events in the natural world as indicators of when to harvest foods, plant, hunt, fish, and more.
In this presentation, Paul will lead us in exploring how phenology has been applied in the sciences and in particular the study of climate change. We will also explore the various tools we have at our disposal to contribute our observations to the phenological database. And finally, how an organized phenological network in the Bitterroot valley holds the potential to build a deeper collective sense of place around our shared interest in observing and playing in the outdoors.