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Northern Ecology

Spring Phenology in the Field: Wildflowers and Beyond

Course Overview

Nature has its own rhythms and these days, it can be hard to predict! Phenology is the recording of the natural calendar—the arrival times of various migrating birds, lake ice-outs, blooming dates of wildflowers, harvest times for crops, and tree leaves changing color in the fall are all events that help us understand the pulse of the landscape. Join co-author of the Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendars for 42 years, Jim Gilbert, for a hands-on exploration of spring phonological events on the North Shore. We’ll go into the field to observe what’s happening in a variety of habitats, including wildflower and other plant identification, as well as observation of birds, insects and the water. Since long-term phenology monitoring helps us keep track of the changing world, the events that we observe and record during this class will be compared with several years in the past. Jim will get you started with your own phenology journal or list of nature’s happenings, which will draw you deeper into a relationship with the environment.


Fri, May 31st, 2019  –  Sat, Jun 1st, 2019

Course Details

Length: 2 Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: Day 1: 9am-6pm, Day 2: 9am - 4pm
Tuition: $175.00
Materials fee: $5.00


You will need the following tools for this class:

  • Clothing and footwear suitable for light hiking in any weather. We go rain or shine!
  • Waterbottle, sunscreen, etc. as needed

We will be taking an hour break for lunch, so you may choose to bring your lunch with and eat it at North House or purchase lunch in Grand Marais.

Optional Tools

  • Camera
  • Note-taking materials
  • Field Guide(s)

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Jim Gilbert
Jim Gilbert
Waconia, MN

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Spring Phenology in the Field: Wildflowers and Beyond - 5/31/2019