It’s Not Rocket Science

Wouldn’t you love to donate your time to a good cause, while at the same time getting the opportunity to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations?

Well, if by “exploring strange new worlds” you mean writing down the shapes of faraway galaxies, and if by “seeking out new life” you mean scrutinizing deep-sea video footage for evidence of marine animals, and if by “new civilizations” you mean counting the cluster of birds hanging out at your backyard feeder… then there are non-profit agencies that could certainly use your help.

It’s called citizen science, and there are lots of ways you can be a part of it. It’s especially easy for amateurs to get involved these days, thanks to online videos, apps and websites that provide everything you need to make a difference from home. No need for laboratories, telescopes or hip-waders. Or science degrees, for that matter.

You won’t be paid, but you may be singlehandedly responsible for discovering the next black hole or spotted jellyfish. And if that isn’t a shining example of the final frontier, I don’t know what is.

Distant galaxy, or deep-sea species? Yes, folks, and THAT’S why they call it “amateur.”  (PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH STROTHAM/MARINE PHOTOBANK)

Distant galaxy, or deep-sea species? Yes, folks, THAT’S why they call it “amateur.” (PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH STROTHAM / MARINE PHOTOBANK)

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