One was a retired school teacher, another a member of the local Genealogical Society and a third an avid scuba diver. But when they and seven other California residents met over Zoom on a recent June evening, they were scientists studying air quality.

These “citizen” scientists are part of a community program with Amigos de Bolsa Chica, a wetlands restoration organization in Huntington Beach, California. They are also part of a growing number of Americans who are volunteering to assist environmental scientists in their work.

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