Project BudBurst

Project BudBurst is a Citizen Science focused, network of people across the United States who monitor plants as the seasons change and submit ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants. The following maps and tools allow you to explore, visualize and analyze Project Budburst observations submitted since 2008. Project BudBurst data is freely available for anyone to download and use for noncommercial use. If you would like to record your own observations, download the data, or if you wish to learn more about the project, please visit us online at:

Project Maps

Project BudBurst Seasonal Visualization

This map allows you to explore seasonal patterns in the plant phenophase timing as observed by Project BudBurst participants.

Questions addressed with this map may include:

  1. Is there a geographic pattern (ie east to west or north to south) associated with green-up (spring/summer) and brown-down (fall/winter) phenophase events? and
  2. Are there patterns of phenophase timing associated with human and physical landscape characteristics such as landuse / landcover and elevation?

Project BudBurst Data Discovery

Use this map to both explore the Project BudBurst observation data and to compare Project BudBurst observations with other environmental data layers.

Questions addressed in this map include:

  1. How do Project BudBurst observations relate to surface temperature data, and vegetation density? And
  2. How do patterns of seasonality (ie green- up / brown-down) relate to satellite derived (remote sensing) estimates of vegetation greenness / seasonality (e.g. NDVI)?

Project BudBurst Growing Degree Days

Use this map to explore how the onset of phenological events is affected by temperature (as measured by growing degree days). Compare the Project BudBurst phenophase data to estimates of growing degree days.

Questions addressed in this tool include:

  1. Does phenophase event timing shift with changes in observed growing degree days values? and
  2. Do growing degree days vary from year to year within different locations?

Project BudBurst Growing Degree Days vs. Photoperiod

Use this plotting tool to investigate the influences of accumulated warm temperatures (growing degree days or temperatures during which plants grow) and daily sunlight exposure (photoperiod) on phenophase timing.

Questions addressed include:

  1. Does the Project BudBurst data reveal if plant phenophase timing is more affected by growing degree days or photoperiod? and
  2. Are there between-species differences in sensitivity to growing degree days vs photoperiod?

Project BudBurst Species Comparison

Use this tool to compare phenophase timing for different plant species within different geographic locations.

The main question addressed by this tool is:

  1. How does phenophase timing differ between various species in the same location?

Project BudBurst Phenophase Comparison

Use this tool to explore the seasonal timing of varying phenophase events for a particular plant species, in a particular region.

Questions addressed include:

  1. When, during the year, would you expect to see a particular phenophase event such as a plant’s first bud or first fruit? and
  2. When might you see brown-down events such as first observations of changing leaf color in the fall or first observations of leaves dropping?