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A New Phenology-focused CURE using Herbarium Specimen Data

By Katie Pearson1, Natalie Love2, Tadeo Parada2, Jenn Yost

1. Cal Poly State University 2. UC Santa Barbara

A short description of the undergraduate research course developed by the California Phenology Network.

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group Cultivating Scientific Curiosity

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Version 1.0 - published on 14 Jul 2020 doi:10.25334/DBYN-ZX80 - cite this Last public release: 3.0

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms



As thousands of new herbarium specimen images are generated by the California Phenology (CAP) Network, the potential for studying phenological shifts of California plants is growing. To leverage new phenological data and to promote biodiversity literacy, the CAP Network has developed a 10-week course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) that guides students through (1) developing a research question about the effects of climate on plant phenological events, (2) designing analyses to answer their question(s), (3) generating phenological data, (4) downloading and cleaning specimen data, (5) conducting analyses in R, and (6) producing a high-quality research poster or paper. The course is intended to provide students with an authentic research experience using novel data, improving students’ understanding of the scientific process, climate change, and phenology, and increasing their data literacy skills. The course was successfully beta tested at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo during the 2020 spring quarter.


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