Forsythia, an early spring bloomer. Photo credit: Marc Ryckaert

Friends of Sears Island will host a presentation titled “Searching for Spring: An Overview of Phenology Research and Citizen Science Initiatives in Maine” by Elisabeth Maxwell on Wednesday, April 10th at 6:30pm at the Belfast Free Library. Phenology is the study of seasonal changes in plants and animals. Without even realizing it, we all observe phenology events that occur around us: the first snow fall, bird migrations, leaves changing color, flowering of our favorite plants, and so much more! This presentation will introduce what phenology is, how it is observed, and describe some of the current research efforts taking place around the state. Elisabeth Maxwell is a co-coordinator for Signs of the Seasons, a citizen science monitoring program that trains and supports participants of all ages throughout New England in recording phenology. Using their backyards as laboratories, participants in the Signs of the Seasons program help scientists document the local effects of global climate change.

This event will take place in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library and is free and open to the public. For more information and to learn more about Friends of Sears Island visit or To learn more about the Signs of the Seasons Program, visit