Citizen science is an old/new tradition in which amateurs make vital contributions to scientific knowledge. Today, it provides an incomparable way to address global change. Individual observations plus big data helps us bridge scales -- local to global, biotic to existential. Citizen science is a way forward, accessible to all.
Mary Ellen Hannibal is an award-winning journalist and author. Her most recent book, Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, was named one of the best titles of 2016 by the San Francisco Chronicle and received a Nautilus Book Award.