Last year I joined the Great Sunflower Project. Which despite its name is not about sunflowers but about bees. It is a huge research project on bee populations. Basically what they did was let anyone sign up to help out. They would send you seed for the particular sunflower they want you to use. You grow them and count how many bees come to visit the flowers in a given amount of time.
That was the theory in any case. In reality I never got my seeds. They said they were on the way, so I waited. And waited. It turns out a lot of people didn't get seed or the seed didn't germinate. There are over 26,000 people participating, so it is not surprising that not everything went right. I was sad that I didn't get to participate since I feel understanding our bees better is a worthy goal.
I have another chance this year. I just got an email from them saying the hunt was on again. So I duely confirmed my address and am hoping for the seeds of "Lemon Queen" sunflowers to show up on my doorstep in about a month. I'll count bees during the summer and in the fall the birds will be happy.