California Phenology Project


Citizen-Science-Phenology-ProjectIn 2013, Pepperwood became one of the first nine sentinel sites in the state to join the California Phenology Project, a member of the National Phenology Network. Our project joins existing National Park Service sites and UC Reserves in a growing effort to document how the life cycles of plants respond to climate change in California.

The Pepperwood Phenology Project is conducted by trained community scientists that visit established transects twice a week at the preserve to record the status of individual plants – whether they are in bloom, fruiting, etc. and how cycles change from year to year. We monitor up to 13 species of woody shrubs and trees on trails near the Dwight Center for Conservation Science. Click here for a detailed description of plant phenology for a subset of the following species.

Blue oak (Quercus douglasii)
California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica)
California black oak (Quercus kelloggii)
Chamise (Adenostoma fascicularis)
Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)
Coyotebrush (Baccharis pilularis)
Epling’s oak (Quercus eplingii)
Leather oak (Quercus durata)
Manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita)
Oregon oak (Quercus garryana)
Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)
Sticky monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus)
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

As of April 2023, our community scientists have collected over 136,000 records of plant phenology at Pepperwood. Data from this project is available to the public via Nature’s Notebook and the latest publications using National Phenology Network data can be found here.

Pepperwood’s community scientist and Steward Wendy Herniman showcased her work monitoring oak phenology at the UC California Naturalist conference in Running Springs, CA, September 2016, as well as at the Northern California Botanists conference in Chico, CA, January 2017. View the poster here.