Data points are to science what donuts are to Homer Simpson's diet: the building blocks. The more data we have, the more pixels in our view of the world, the more accurate our theories of what's going on.
Enter crowdsourcing. Suddenly huge new flows of data are arriving thanks to citizen science projects. No lab coat? No problem. If you're interested and conscientious, you could be contributing valuable data that would otherwise go uncollected for lack of funds. Some programs take you into the field. Others can be done in bed with a laptop. Some require a day or more of training; others just a quick online tutorial. Here's a sampling of what you can do: