A storm over over Chaparral, NM.
A storm over over Chaparral, NM. Greg Lundeen

No matter whether you still sit down and watch the evening news, or you catch the latest on your mobile, the daily headlines can be really depressing. Freak storms and strange weather patterns, epidemics causing misery, another species added to the endangered list… it can all seem so overwhelming.

And what can you do? You’re just one person. You need to keep that job and pay the rent, and not take it on the chin too many times in a week. These days, it’s also really easy to let yourself get distracted as you try to escape it all for a while. There’s that Candy Crush Saga game that everyone is talking about, and those episodes of Game of Thrones aren’t going to watch themselves, right?

The good news is that you can do something, and it’s way easier than you thought it would be. In the last few years, something really neat has been brewing, just on the edge of the mainstream. It’s called citizen science, and it’s a way for ordinary people like you and me to do real, honest-to-goodness, help-answer-the-big-questions science, even if we don’t have any qualifications or degrees.

Do Try This At Home will help you explore this world. You’ll learn about the projects you can join, and the free resources available to learn more about the things you’ll be doing. Along the way, you’ll have fun, you will understand more about the big issues facing us as a species, and … you will be able to make a difference.

Chandra Clarke is a Webby Honoree-winning blogger, a highly successful entrepreneur, and an author. Her book Be the Change: Saving the World with Citizen Science is available at Amazon. You can reach her at chandraclarke [at] gmail dot com.