Tag Archives: phenology

Traveling Way Back – Landsat Images From Aprils Gone By

Welcome to another Throwback Thursday. Today we are going back into the archives to compare imagery from the first five Landsat satellites (all images are featured in natural color). Click on each image for a closer view.

  • Try to notice the differences in resolution and image quality between the different years.
  • Another thing to note is the wide seasonal variation between the images. All the images were from the same three week period in April. Some images are have snow while other years are very green.
  • Observe that the Des Moines River is swollen in the Landsat 4 -1983 image.
Landsat 1 – April 5, 1976
Landsat 2 – April 3, 1975

Landsat 3 – April 21, 1980
Landsat 4 – April 15, 1983
Landsat 5 – April 12, 1985

You can explore the raw images using this web app: https://arcg.is/0XrG4f. Happy exploring.


This year we are celebrating 50 years of the Landsat earth observing satellite mission. Landsat data helps us observe changes in our communities and environment over time.


Thanks for stopping by and keep observing the world around you!

Spring is coming! Time for Nature’s Notebook

As you look out your window you may be noticing that grass is beginning to green up, the lilac bushes are growing new leaves, and a robin is gathering material for a nest. These observations are scientifically termed phenology – the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena relating to climate, plant, and animal life.

As spring begins with many of us social distancing it is a good time to turn our attention towards nature and consider joining the National Phenology Network USA’s Nature’s Notebook program. Nature’s Notebook is a group of volunteer observers (students and citizen scientists) from around the USA who pick an observation site and commit to regularly recording data about it throughout a season. This data can then be used by scientists around the world to better understand changes in climate and plant/animal life around the country.

The Nature’s Notebook website has many useful resources for establishing your observation site as well as ideas for which species to observe. The website also has activities and lesson planning ideas for children and young people. Participating in Nature’s Notebook might be a good adventure during the weeks that school is closed and the days are getting nicer.

Resources:
Phenology Activity Book for Children
Nature’s Notebook – Join a Regional Campaign
Getting Started – Nature’s Notebook in the classroom
Search Plants and Animals to Observe
Learn How to Observe