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Citizen Science and the Early Arrival of Spring
Alex Steffen, 10 Aug 04

Yet another of glimpse of what climate change may hold: plants in the Boston area are now blooming an average of eight days earlier than they did at the beginning of the century.

But that's not what's most interesting in this story. What's most interesting is the role that gardeners' personal records played in the study.

"On a 100-acre farm in Middleborough, Mass., Betty Anderson has been taking notes for more than 50 years. "The first thing I do in the morning when I get up - besides getting myself a cup of coffee or tea - is look at the thermometer, and write down the temperature, the weather, and whatever interests me that day."

"In countless "Daily Reminder" books, she has noted when the wood ducks return each spring and tracked the growth and flowering of plants in her garden."

Citizen science comes in many forms.

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