New England Leaf Out Project

Dear Teachers,

The New England Leaf Out Project (NELOP) needs your help observing leaf out this spring! Leaf out—when leaves first emerge and unfold in spring—is an important life stage that signals the beginning of the growing season in New England. NELOP is collecting leaf out observations from school groups, botanical gardens, and other volunteers across New England to study the effects of climate change on the timing of leaf out. We hope your classroom will help us gather observations of leaf out times in April and May of 2014 to add to the available database of current and historical observations. To participate, start by visiting our website: http://www.nelop.net/. Select one or more trees from the short species list, located on your school grounds. Next, starting in mid-April, check your tree(s) every couple of days and record the first signs of spring leaf out. Finally, take just a few minutes to enter your observations onto our straightforward NELOP website, along with a few notes about your tree’s surroundings. Your class’ observations will then be part of a growing scientific database of current and historic leaf out dates, and will be analyzed by researchers at Boston University. Monitoring spring leaf out is an engaging way for students to hone their naturalist and observational skills and to learn about trees, climate, and ecosystem interactions. We hope you’ll have a look at the NELOP website and consider joining us in observing leaf out this spring! Feel free to contact gallinat@bu.edu with any questions