For generations Islanders have kept records of the changes in their environment on a kitchen calendar or a personal journal to track things like the first Great Blue Heron, peeper or mayflower of the year. To the UPEI Climate Research Lab this information is gold and the Lab has produced a 218-page hardcover Climate Diary to distribute to people across PEI to formalize data collection. The diary provides space for data on the next 25 years of weather-related phenomena. Diarists can record those first spring flowers of the year, the first snowfall, and other seasonal changes.
Derek Ellis, Climate Diary project manager, will be the guest speaker at Nature PEI’s April 7th members meeting and will provide an overview of the Climate Diary and how individuals can participate in citizen science by tracking changes in their environment.
“The Climate Diary provides a means of recording naturally-occurring plant and animal life cycle events as they relate to seasonal changes” says Ellis. “Over time, this data will give us a better understanding of the local impacts of climate change here on PEI.”
The climate diary serves two functions – firstly as a field guide to help identify plant and animal species that users will be observing – and secondly as a means of recording such observations year-to-year in an organized fashion.
“It is our hope to have a small army of observers scattered across PEI recording these environmental changes as they happen,” says Ellis.
The Nature PEI meeting begins at 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield Carriage House – corner of Kent and West Streets in Charlottetown. Everyone is welcome to attend and admission is free.