Citizen Science for Understanding Berries in a Changing North
Winterberry is a citizen science project where University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists and community volunteers investigate how shifting seasons could affect when berries are available to animals and people.
In the far North spring is coming earlier, summers are warmer, and fall is arriving later. Shifting seasons may have an effect on when berries are available to people, birds, and small mammals that eat them. Many of Alaska's berry-producing plants hold on to their fruits into the winter and even spring, and these berries are very important to animals such as voles, foxes, and grouse.
- Demand for continuation of the program by educators and Tribal organizations
- Museum of the North Berry Month
- Total of 32 communities involved, 1500 volunteers and 17,000 observations
- Mulder, C.P.H., Spellman, K.V,, Shaw, J. 2021. Berries in Winter: A natural history of fruit tentiona in four species across Alaska. Madroño 68(4): 487-510. DOI:10.3120/0024-9637-68.4.487
- Spellman, K.V., Cost, D., Villano, C.P. 2021. Connecting community and citizen science to stewardship action planning through scenarios storytelling. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 9: 490. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2021.695534
Will a longer time between when berries ripen and when the snow falls mean more berries will rot or get eaten? Will this leave less for the animals that depend on these berries in winter and spring?
We invite you to join the individual volunteers, K-12 classes, after school programs, parents and children - anyone interested in berries - throughout Alaska and northern regions of the globe in answering these questions. Berry tracking is simple and fun! Learn more by checking out the Winterberry website.
New directions in Berry science
- Gather information needs and concerns of communities
- Identify datasets available on berries across the state
- Identify gaps in science and future science
- Tightly align our science to the climate adaptation needs of our communities
Dr. Katie Spellman: email@example.com
Dr. Christa Mulder: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Elena Sparrow: email@example.com