Image from: https://smartfin.org/about/
You don’t have to be a scientist to do science. Or, rather, you are a scientist if you’re doing science, but you don’t need a degree (or in some cases any formal training) to do so. The proliferation of cleverly dubbed ‘citizen science’ programs allows the woman or man on the street (or in the ocean!) to collect data and contribute to valuable research – especially in areas related to climate change. Oftentimes, the doing science is in conjunction with doing a thing that you love anyway such as scuba diving, sailing, or surfing as highlighted in the above article from REI. Data collection is a massive undertaking in time and money and citizen scientists help ease this burden – ultimately leading to better research and outcomes.
It’s easy to get involved in citizen science initiatives wherever you live just by Googling “citizen science [your city or state]”; I found four in my area just in the first five results. So consider piggybacking some science onto your normal recreating – your friendly neighborhood scientists will think you’re R.A.D. as Hell.