Our Views: Helping track nature’s changes

Summer might seem eternal in south Louisiana at this time of year, but the seasons do change, and the U.S. Geological Survey is asking Americans to help it better understand how those changes are taking place.

By watching and recording when local flowers bloom across the country, for example, scientists can get a better idea of how climate works. But scientists can’t be everywhere at once, so the Geological Survey is recruiting citizen volunteers to help. The time involved in volunteering is minimal — perhaps as little as 10 minutes ­— and the data can be important in understanding how the planet works through phenology, the science of how seasons change.

Nature watchers can participate by visiting The National Phenology Network, which is operated by the Geological Survey and other organizations, at www.usanpn.org.

Louisiana, where gardening and outdoor sports are a big pastime, seems an ideal source of recruits for amateur nature watching. We hope residents get involved.