• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

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  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Institute Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

    Effective July 28, 2014, the parks are in Stage 2 fire restrictions. See link below for more information. These restrictions will remain in place until further notice. More »

  • Road Construction Delays on Park Roads for 2014 Season

    Expect occasional 15-minute to 1-hour delays in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on weekdays only (times vary), including delays to/from the General Sherman Tree, Crystal Cave, and Grant Grove. More »

  • Vehicle Length Limits in Sequoia National Park (if Entering/Exiting Hwy 198)

    Planning to see the "Big Trees" in Sequoia National Park? If you enter/exit via Hwy. 198, and your vehicle is longer than 22 feet (combined length), please pay close attention to vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. More »

  • You May Have Trouble Calling Us

    We are experiencing technical problems receiving incoming phone calls. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please send us an email to SEKI_Interpretation@nps.gov or check the "More" link for trip-planning information. More »

SPROUTS

The Rangers in the Classroom program, SPROUTS (Student Phenologists Researching Oaks to Understand Trees and Science) engages students in recording and observing phenological events of oak species in their school yard. The SPROUTS program provides students with a hands-on learning opportunity utilizing two relatively new sciences: phenology and citizen science:

Citizen science is a research and education tool that allows everyday people to use methods such as biological inventory, long-term monitoring and research to form real and meaningful conclusions about their environment. Citizen science is specifically focused on creating opportunities for non-scientists to experience science first-hand and to develop a connection with the natural world. On a large scale, citizen science may inform the broader community through increasing sense of stewardship and data collection and application.

Methods used in citizen science such as biological inventory and long-term monitoring are also tools for phenology. Phenology measures the timing of life cycle events in plants, animals, and microbes, and detects how the environment influences the timing of those events. As life cycle events vary from year to year based on weather, climate and resource availability; phonological observations are simple ways to measure environmental changes such as climate change.

The SPROUTS program uses digital web cameras or phenocams located in the Foothills region of Sequoia National Park to provide students with opportunities to make comparisons between Valley Oak in their schoolyard and Blue Oak or Interior Live Oak found inside of the park’s boundary. Using the webcam images, students can monitor tree canopy phenology while also recording budburst, first leaf and leaf shedding using the camera’s telephoto capabilities.

 
Phenocam images
Phenocams of a Blue Oak and a California Buckeye in the Foothills
 

Learn More About Phenology & Citizen Science
Nature's Notebook
A national plant and animal phenology observation program

Project Budburst
Share observations of phenophases

Citizen Science Central
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Citizen Science Toolkit

Kids in Nature
University of California Santa Barbara nature program for underrepresented and underserved youth

Climate Change Response Program
The National Park Service science program on climate change

Did You Know?

Woodcuts from park newspaper symbolizing three special areas in the parks.

The park newspaper (The Guide) comes out five times a year. It covers Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, and the Hume Lake area of Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument. Planning a trip? See the most recent issue for the season you expect to be here and see what to expect. More...