ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP) has launched a new initiative in Albuquerque to help track changes in the environment over time.

BEMP recently installed two Chronolog posts, one at the Albuquerque Open Space area near the Paseo del Bosque Trail at Tingley Beach, and the other at the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. The posts have a sign on them that instructs community members to take a photo of the surrounding area by placing their phone in a plastic holder on top and then sending it via email to Chronolog.

“Then, over time, you get this incredible time-lapse of how the system is changing,” said Kim Eichhorst, research and science director for BEMP and education outreach director for Sevilleta Long-Term Ecological Research.

Chronolog phone holder BEMP near Paseo del Bosque Trail at Tingley Beach. Nov. 17, 2023. (KRQE Digital Reporter Fallon Fischer)

There are five Chronolog posts in New Mexico, but these two posts are the first ones in Albuquerque. “The site that we picked, for example at the Tingley Beach site, this is an area where the cottonwood forest is slowly declining. But there’s also a lot of restoration work that is being done by the city of Albuquerque. So we’ll be able to capture those changes,” Eichhorst explained. “And the Valle de Oro site, it’s a national wildlife refuge, it’s an urban wildlife refuge, and that area is a former dairy that is being converted to riparian area and wetlands. And so we’re going to capture the shift.”

Eichhorst hopes the program also helps get more people interested in the environment. “Maybe they’ll go and look at the website and continue to check up and see how that site is shifting over time and become much more aware of how the system is changing,” she said.

The funding for the project is coming out of BEMP’s budget. Eichorst said the City of Albuquerque, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a local water foundation have expressed interest in helping BEMP maintain the long-term costs of the project. Eichhorst added that they would like to add more Chronolog posts in the area. “This is our pilot program to see how well these two locations do,” Eichhorst said.

The other Chronolog posts in New Mexico are located in the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park in Dona Ana County and the remaining two are located in Rio Arriba County near the Rio Grande and the Los Luceros Historic Site. There are also Chronolog posts all over the country and the world. To view the map, click here

Chronolog locations in New Mexico as of Nov. 17, 2023: