We're fortunate to have many opportunities to contribute scientific data in ways large and small. The following list will help you get started.
- Zooniverse: Real Science Online I learned about this site through its astronomy projects, but it has grown over the years and now there are about a dozen projects to which you can contribute.
- GLOBE at Night In this annual worldwide, people count the stars visible from their location and submit their data in an effort to understand and call awareness to light pollution
- National Wildlife Foundation list of citizen science projects This list is geared mostly toward naturalists.
- FeederWatch Set up a feeder and count the birds that visit it during the winter (starting on the second Saturday of November and running for 21 weeks). The data you gather help scientists "track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance."
- S'COOL Learn when NASA satellites are passing overhead in your area and observing clouds; then take photos of the clouds to complement the satellite observations. Rover observers (i.e., the general public) and classes in schools can participate.
- Planet Four This is the latest from Zooniverse; it involves identifying wind-related surface features on images of Mars to help track Martian climate. The images were taken by an instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.