GOLD2022

Community Science Institute, Inc.

Partnering with communities to protect water

Ithaca, NY   |  http://www.communityscience.org/

Mission

Our mission is to foster stewardship and responsible management of water resources by partnering with communities to monitor water quality in the Finger Lakes region and beyond. To carry out our mission, we operate a water quality testing lab that is certified by the New York State Department of Health-Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (NYSDOH-ELAP) to EPA’s National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) standards (NYSDOH-ELAP ID# 11790, USEPA ID# 01518). The data we produce is regulatory-quality and can therefore be used to make policy and management decisions. To democratize science, we make all of our data available to the public free of charge on online water quality database: database.communityscience.org.

Ruling year info

2002

Principal Officer

Dr. Grascen Shidemantle

Main address

95 Brown Road Box 1044

Ithaca, NY 14850 USA

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EIN

16-1598492

NTEE code info

(Management & Technical Assistance) (C02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

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Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Synoptic Stream and Lake Chemistry and Bacteria Monitoring Program

Since 2002, community scientist volunteers have been monitoring long-term chemical and microbiological water quality in tributary streams of Cayuga Lake. Each volunteer group collects samples three to four times per year from a set of long-term monitoring sites and transports them to the CSI lab for analysis of a suite of water quality indicators that includes phosphorus and nitrogen nutrients, sediment, E. coli as a marker for pathogenic bacteria, and chloride as a marker for salt. Through our 4-H2O water science education program for youth, and in collaboration with Discover Cayuga Lake, we also conduct water quality monitoring of Cayuga Lake three times each summer. The CSI lab analyzes over 550 stream and lake samples and produces over 4,000 certified test results on waterbodies throughout the Cayuga Lake watershed each year. Results for the are then posted in the Streams and Lakes section of our public online database (database.communityscience.org).

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

The Cayuga Lake Harmful Algal Bloom (HABs) Monitoring Program is led by CSI in collaboration with the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and Discover Cayuga Lake. CSI staff coordinate over 90 “HABs Harrier” volunteers who patrol 69 shoreline zones from late June to early October, collecting suspicious bloom samples and transporting them to the CSI lab for analysis. Suspicious blooms may also be reported by members of the general public using an online form on the CSI website. Samples are analyzed in our state certified lab to identify the dominant cyanobacteria genera in the bloom, microcystin toxin level, and total chlorophyll a concentration. CSI posts reports of blooms on our HABs Reporting Map and table (http://www.communityscience.org/volunteer/harmful-algal-bloom-monitoring/cayuga-lake-habs-reporting-page/). In 2023, we plan to unveil our HABs database which will include a searchable interface for all blooms reported since the start of our program in 2018.

Population(s) Served

Separately from our chemical and microbiological monitoring of tributary streams, CSI also partners with volunteers who have a passion for collecting and identifying bottom-dwelling stream insects and other invertebrate organisms called benthic macroinvertebrates, or BMI. The abundance and diversity of BMI indicate the quality of a stream as a habitat for aquatic organisms and its general health as an aquatic ecosystem. BMI are used widely by the scientific community, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), as indicators of stream health. CSI’s Biomonitoring Coordinator teams with volunteer groups to collect and analyze samples of BMI from over a dozen stream locations annually. Summaries of BMI results are posted on our website (http://www.communityscience.org/bmi-results/). We are currently developing a new section of CSI’s online database that will house BMI data and make it possible to view and compare BMI results quickly across space and time.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adults
Children and youth

CSI collaborates with Tompkins County 4-H to offer free water-themed experiential learning opportunities for youth and their families called 4-H2O. In 2022, our 4-H2O program, "The Journey of Water", included water quality monitoring cruises aboard Discover Cayuga Lake, collection and inspection of benthic macroinvertebrates from area streams, and tours of the City of Ithaca Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility. Our 2022 4-H2O program has been made possible by a grant from the Park Foundation.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Children and youth

Where we work

Financials

Community Science Institute, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Community Science Institute, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/03/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Robert Barton

Sheila Dean

Darby Kiley

Robert Thomas

Gerald VanOrden

Deborah Jones

Angel Hinickle

Stephen Penningroth

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/3/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/03/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.