welcome back to new england nature watch 2023

Join the over 1,000 past participants!

Looking to get involved with research on and around the NET?

Since 2004, NET’s Massachusetts partner, Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has been monitoring the timing of seasonal plant events like flowering in conjunction with weather conditions to better understand the effects of climate change. To gather a wide range and make sense of this data, AMC and NET launched their New England Nature Watch program using the iNaturalist app in 2021. With the help of curious hikers turned citizen scientists (that’s you!), we’re looking to continue the data collection for another year.

Observations, at any time of the year, offer valuable data to the project, but look out for seasonal theme events. These have included drives that center on collecting observations during the flowering and fruiting stages of New England native plants in the spring and summer. Happy observing! 

Getting started with iNaturalist

The iNaturalist app can be found in the Apple app store for iPhones and iPads, or in the Google Play store for Android devices. Using the iNaturalist app, you can catalog and identify almost any living plant or animal. Your phone will automatically geotag the image, assigning its location, and if you’re not sure of the name of the species of plant you observed, the community on iNaturalist, including AMC’s own scientists, will help confirm and identify the plant. You don’t have to be an expert to contribute to the Watch! 

iNaturalist provides detailed written and video tutorials for how to download the app and make observations. Those videos can all be found here.

For an introduction to the project that includes a tutorial for how to join and make observations with the iNaturalist app from AMC’s previous Scientist in Park intern, check out this webinar.

If you have specific troubleshooting questions, feel free to reach out to us at newenglandnst@gmail.com and the NET team can help answer questions.

Challenge Guidelines

The guidelines for contributing to the project are simple! If you’re near the trail corridor and have the iNaturalist app ready on your phone, you’re ready to make a contribution to the project.

What do we mean by trail corridor? We’re using the trail as a guideline for observations, but you don’t have to just stick to the NET for making your observations. Check out the map below for a general idea from where observations were made during the previous year.

Map of New England Trail corridor with red observation markers stretching from the Long Island Sound to Southern Vermont/New Hampshire