Student Work in National Spotlight

Last fall, my students did a project with the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (you can read about it here), creating two vital partnerships; one with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the other with Nature’s Notebook.  In addition to studying the natural history of the Middle Rio Grande Valley, and the water chemistry of the refuge, students chose a variety of sub-projects, one of which was the creation of a field guide to help observers at VdO, so that they can upload data into a national database. The photos above were used in that field guide.

The following email just got sent from the national office at NPN, which operates Nature’s Notebook, to volunteers that make citizen-observations at Valle de Oro:

Hi All, 

I’m excited to tell you about a new resource developed by a group of senior students at Nex+Gen Academy! The students have put together a Field Guide for the birds of Valle de Oro, complete with life history information, photos, and videos that include some of the birds calls and songs for each of our focal species! 

You can view the field guide here:

Many thanks to Samantha, Rickey, Patrick and Michael for creating this wonderful resource!

We have people signed up for observations through June – thanks Laurel and Kathy! – but there is still availability in July. If you are new, consider contacting an experienced volunteer about joining them on a future visit! 

Thanks for all of your efforts! Happy phenology observing! 



Erin Posthumus

Outreach Associate
USA-NPN Liaison to the US Fish & Wildlife Service
USA National Phenology Network
National Coordinating Office