As members of the environmental community known as Earth, we all have a lot to add to the general understanding of it.
Some people work in nature all the time, and the rest of us often wonder how we can increase our interactions with it. If you fall into either of those two categories (and let's face, rhetorically, I didn't leave much chance that you wouldn't), the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has some great opportunities for you.
Citizen Science features a number of projects, including bird counting and bird identification, that let you contribute to science. Remember how much fun we had playing scientists and investigating our world when we were growing up? These projects let have that experience once again, and now, the findings are for keeps.
One of the projects created by the lab is called Project FeederWatch. This involves setting up a feeder during the winter months, counting the types and number of birds that visit, and sharing your information with the scientists at the lab. Those who are educators can turn this into learning opportunities for their students. Along with counting and identifying the birds, students can study writing through journal keeping, physics through bird's flight patterns, history, art inspired by birds, and music influenced by bird songs.
We all have a lot we can bring to science's exploration of our world. If you would like to get more involved with this learning process, check out the links above.