Q: What happens to my data?
A: Your observations are entered in to a secure database. While the data is not shared publicly, Nature Abounds may share some or all of your information with reputable scientists, research institutions, and government agencies. Additionally, Nature Abounds is a partner of the National Phenology Network.
Q: Is it necessary to include Latitude and Longitude coordinates on the observation recording form? How do I find them?
A: Besides the observations, latitude and longitude coordinates, along with the date, are the most important information you can provide, This is the only way to tell exactly where your observations are coming from so we can map and record them in our database. Likewise, this is the only way we can assess what is changing in the world around us is to compare observations from the same locations over time.
Q: What if I monitor for more than one location?
A: The more information collected, the more analysis can be done. Please remember that each site has its own unique latitude/longitude coordinate, requiring you to submit a new location for that observation as well as a separate Site Description Form.
Q: I live way out in the center of the middle of nowhere, are you still interested to what is happening in my area?
A: We are interested in the information from all areas. The more people reporting from diverse geographical locations the clearer the picture we will have on what is happening in this great big country. Your area may be isolated from some of the effects of industry and human habitation therefore your data is affected by fewer factors and may be able to give a clearer picture of what is happening in our ecosystem.
Q: I have gaps in my observations because there were some years that we missed observing or recording the dates. Would you still like this information even though it is not "complete"?
A: All observations are valuable to this program, especially if they have been recorded in the exact same location and with the exact same method every time.
Q: How often should I submit my data?
A: Every volunteer's submissions timing is a little different. Some volunteers submit information after every observation, some report once every couple weeks, and others are saving their report for submission until after several observation events. It's really up to you as to how often you'd like to submit your observations.
Q: I'm also an IceWatch USA volunteer. Is it possible to submit data for both programs together?
A: We invite your participation in both opportunities. As of now, your IceWatch USA observations need to be submitted separate from your Watch the Wild observations. If this changes in the future, we'll let you know.
Q: I was on vacation and made some interesting observations, should I or can I submit those somewhere?
A: Yes, of course. We would love to hear about your observations. Please submit them along with a Site Description Form for the location where you made them along with your regular observations.