Scientists – Action!
You don’t have to go through years of training to help with scientific research. Many Citizen Science programs exist where hobby-scientists do some of the field work necessary to help professional scientists. Visit Citizen Science in Action to find a list of projects where you can help research a variety of topics- from birding migrations, to butterfly life cycles, to population cycles and movement, plus a variety of non-biological possibilities like mapping communities or searching the skies.
Some of the best-known Citizen Science projects are the Audubon Society’s Bird Counts. For over a century, volunteers have been collecting information on the birds in their communities during the Christmas Bird Count. There is also a bird count on Presidents’ Day Weekend as well as an ongoing eBird database that is used to study population distribution and movement.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also uses Citizen Scientists to help collect data. The EPA directory lists volunteer organizations around the country engaged in monitoring rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, wetlands, and ground water, as well as surrounding lands.
Join one of these projects and help scientists collect information about our world so we can better understand it and the changes it is experiencing.