Citizen Science at Habitat

The landscape and wildlife of Massachusetts is changing for a variety of reasons. Climate change, development, and invasive species—among other factors—are altering the Commonwealth's lands and the plants and animals that depend on these habitats.

Habitat offers many opportunities to participate in nature and wildlife research and protection efforts as a citizen science volunteer. 

Plant Phenology Project

Flowering Dogwood at Habitat © Thea Prum
Flowering Dogwood © Thea Prum

Phenology refers to life events in relation to the environment, like budburst, leafout, leaf drop, etc. The goal of this project is to catalog all the phenophases of 10 species of trees and shrubs found at Habitat. 

The data collected will be analyzed each year in order to gain an understanding of how these 10 tree and shrub species are changing with climate change. This will also help us implement long-term goals in our ecological management plan.

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Citizen scientists assist with the project by collecting phenological data on specific groups of individual plants from each tree or shrub species. Volunteers visit their species groups on a regular basis to record the current phenophase of each individual (e.g. is there fruit production?) at specific times of the year, from February until December.

No experience is required, and training will be provided on tree identification and data collection protocol. Semi-regular group meetups will be organized to monitor progress. To volunteer with this project, contact Wayne Daly (Assistant Property Manager) at 617-489-5050 x7210 or by email

Inventory & Monitoring Project

Tree Swallow at Habitat © Mike Hansen
Tree Swallow © Mike Hansen

We are one of many wildlife sanctuaries participating in the statewide wildlife sanctuary Inventory and Monitoring Project, which helps Mass Audubon evaluate and provide the basis for future conservation action though land management decisions, advocacy, and education. 

At Habitat, we are focused on assessing the populations of:

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Taking inventory and monitoring of specific wildlife and plants provides us with information on how well our wildlife sanctuaries represent the biological diversity found in Massachusetts and provides information on changes over time.

To volunteer with this project, contact Habitat's office at 617-489-5050 or by email