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The NC CSC partners with AmericaView member states in the north central region to “establish, coordinate, implement, and support a monitoring network to collect and maintain a daily stream of plant phenology information that will support research, education, management decision-making and policy, and improve understanding of how climate, operating at multiple spatial and temporal scales, will influence ecosystem processes and services.” The primary objective of the PhenoCam project is to use automated, near-surface remote sensing to provide continuous, real-time monitoring of vegetation phenology (timing of life-history events such as green-up and senescence) across a range of ecosystems and climate zones.  

Contributing to the PhenoCam network

We have and continue to deploy PhenoCams throughout the north central region to bolster the number of “core” sites within the Missouri River Basin. Prior to this effort there were only two PhenoCam core sites in the region, but through NC CSC involvement, we hope there to be a total of 18 sites operational by the close of 2015.

Contributing to land surface phenology validation sites

The international community has agreed upon the use of coupled PhenoCam sites and in-situ observations as the primary validation for land surface phenology products (See Morisette, 2010 for more info). As such, PhenoCam activity is occurring in coordination with the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Land Product Validation subgroup (CEOS LPV) and the USA National Phenology Network, which encourages “people of all ages and backgrounds to observe and record phenology as a way to discover and explore the nature and pace of our dynamic world.” The Network makes ground-based phenology observations freely available to scientists, resource managers, and the public.

A combined AmericaView-Climate Science Center collaboration

By partnering with the AmericaView program, the cameras will be deployed at the state level by regional partners who are familiar with the locations and have connections with state-level stakeholders. The AmericaView partners will work with staff at the NC CSC to explore how the PhenoCams, USA NPN observations, and satellite products can be combined with weather station data and gridded climate products to better understand the connections between climate and ecosystem processes and services.