Excerpt: “Citizen science” is a term used to describe when members of the public collect—and even analyze— scientific data, often in collaboration with professional scientists. For example, a member of the public might collect samples of water from a stream close to his or her house, or take samples of soil from a nearby park. With its use of non-professional volunteers to help answer questions about the environment, citizen science employs engaged citizens interested in understanding their world.

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) president Scott Vaughan has even suggested that citizen science can help increase compliance with environmental regulations and standards, through such things as air quality apps on smartphones and other user-friendly technologies.

Source: Citizen Science: Gathering rivers of information for the knowledge pool