Christine Baeumler, Backyard Phenology: Tracking Nature’s Cycles in a Changing Climate
Backyard Phenology, focuses on place-based observation and study of seasons and cycles of the natural world.
Backyard Phenology: Tracking Nature’s Cycles in a Changing Climate demonstrates how art, science, and place-based observations can come together to catalyze awareness of and action on climate change.
Artist Christine Baeumler teams up with scientists Rebecca Montgomery (forest ecologist and head of MN Phenology Network), Nicholas Jordan (agricultural ecologist), Kate Flick (Natural Resource Science student) and Beth Mercer Taylor (sustainability educator).
Phenology involves observation of the timing of phenomena such as leaf expansion and flowering of plants, and of weather events such as frosts and extreme storms. It is simple to practice and well suited to citizen science: participants are invited to monitor local effects of climate change through the use of an issued calendar.
Backyard Phenology’s Climate Chaser Mobile Lab made its debut at Northern Spark to record people’s observations and perceptions about our changing climate as well as a place to share their theories of change. Phenology “Passports” were issued with the schedule of monthly phenology workshops in the Twin Cities. Participants get their passports stamped when they attend an event. Over the next year, the project will host a series of seasonal workshops, which will feature experts in topics such as bird language such as animal track recognition. Participants will record observations of phenology data in the lab on the Nature’s Notebook online and will be invited to share their images and audio recordings for inclusion in a multi media artwork.
The Climate Chaser Mobile Phenology Lab returned to Northern Spark 2017, alternating between a space to listen to recorded climate change stories gathered over the past year as well as share stories of environmental observations.
Artist: Christine Baeumler
Rebecca A. Montgomery, Nick Jordan, Kate Flick, Beth Mercer-Taylor
Fabrication of mobile phenology unit:
Troy Gallas and Patrick McKennan, ThreeSeven
Graphic Design: Holly Robins, This is Folly
Additional phenology team members:
Mae Davenport, Francis Bettelyoun, Chris Buyarsk
This project has been funded in part by the University of Minnesota Faculty Imagine Fund and The Institute for Advanced Studies Research and Creative Collaborative.