Phenology: Studying Natural Cycles of Plant and Animal Life

  • Some of the urban wildlife Nathan has observed. Nathan Binnema

One of the ways I am enjoying the outdoors this summer is through my study in phenological engagement. Since October, I have been taking an Introduction to Blackfoot Phenology course, involving five hours a week of field study at a local site. The course lasts 12 or 13 lunar cycles, depending on the year. The research method is to visit the site at least twice a week, trying to be aware of everything that is going on, and developing questions as you go along. Basic questions would include getting to know who is there, what is going on in their lives, and how a human being could participate in this ecology. Participants in the course are asked to submit field notes to the course page on Facebook.

I have been learning a lot through this course, and would like to continue learning when the course has finished. To that end, I would like to invite you to join my Facebook group, Inner Edmonton Ecological Engagement. On this page, members can post photographs, stories, videos, etc. of plants and animals – what they are doing and interactions with them – in our own neighbourhood, at the park, the River Valley, the back yard, and even the streets of downtown. By sharing our observations, we can learn about what is going on ecologically right here where we live – the news from our neighbours in the community of life.

Nathan lives in McCauley

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