The Community Science Institute (CSI) seeks an Executive Director to replace our Founding Director, who is retiring after 21 years. Please read the position description below, or click here for a PDF version.
Position of Executive Director: The Executive Director leads the CSI team and serves as the public face of our organization, promoting our monitoring programs and the importance of our long-term datasets to diverse stakeholders as a basis for understanding shared water resources and managing them sustainably. Maintaining an overview of CSI’s diverse water quality data sets, including chemical, microbiological, BMI and HABs results, the Executive Director is in a position to alert the public and other stakeholders to water quality trends and their implications for stream and lake health.
Our water quality monitoring programs span some 3,000 square miles of the Finger Lakes and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. All data generated by CSI are dependent on our many dedicated volunteers, who commit to collecting water samples and recording field observations on a regular basis. The Executive Director has overall responsibility for our monitoring partnerships and interacts regularly with volunteers, ensuring that they receive the support they need and understand the significance of the data they help produce. Other staff assist the Executive Director with program management by providing volunteer teams with logistical and technical support.
The Executive Director collaborates with CSI’s Laboratory Director, sharing responsibility for organizational tasks such as budget, contracts, newsletters and reports. Together the two directors strive to provide a work environment that supports the wellbeing and professional development of CSI staff.
The Executive Director serves on the CSI Board ex officio.
Our Mission and Staff: CSI’s mission is to foster stewardship of water resources by conducting scientifically rigorous water quality monitoring in partnership with community volunteers, currently numbering over 250 individuals organized into several dozen teams. CSI staff coordinate volunteers’ collection of stream samples year-round and of Cayuga Lake HABs samples from June to October. Samples are analyzed in our nationally (NELAC) certified testing lab in Ithaca, New York (NYSDOH-ELAP ID# 11790) for nutrients, salt, suspended solids, pathogenic bacteria, chlorophyll, microcystin toxin, and other analytes. We post results in our online database (www.database.communityscience.org), which includes interpretive maps and graphs and is available to the public free of charge. In addition to chemical and microbiological monitoring, we conduct biological monitoring of streams based on the collection and analysis of benthic macroinvertebrates (BMI) following protocols modeled on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). In addition to an Executive Director and Laboratory Director, CSI staff is comprised of two Laboratory Analysts, an Administrative/Laboratory Assistant, an Outreach Coordinator, a Biomonitoring (BMI) Coordinator, a Web Developer who works remotely, and a Data Entry Specialist. CSI is governed by a seven-person Board of Directors that meets monthly.
Our Scope: While our primary focus is our home watershed of Cayuga Lake and its tributary streams, we also partner with volunteers in the Seneca Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake and Upper Chesapeake Bay watersheds to produce regulatory quality data. We collaborate with Tompkins County 4-H to offer water-themed educational activities for youth and their families each summer; organize “Water and Community” public forums using our long-term data sets to address topics of regional interest; publish an annual newsletter; and work with faculty and students from academic institutions interested in using our datasets in their research.
Our Funding: Our volunteer stream and lake monitoring partnerships are supported by contracts with municipal and county governments and nonprofit lake associations; foundation grants; and individual donations. The CSI lab also functions as a fee-based, certified drinking water testing service for the Tompkins County Health Department, Cornell University, businesses, and private homeowners throughout the region. Our certified lab provides a valuable service to our community while earning fees that help support our nonprofit mission.
- Masters or Ph.D. degree in an environmentally relevant science discipline
- Thorough understanding of watershed science and water quality measurements
- Five years’ professional experience (can include up to three years of postdoctoral fellowships)
- Experience with citizen/community science
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to lead, inspire and motivate
- Grant writing and/or fundraising experience
- Familiarity with Finger Lakes region.
Compensation: Annual starting salary $50,000 – $60,000 depending on qualifications and experience. Forty hours per week, 9-5, Monday-Friday. Some schedule flexibility and limited remote work possible. Occasional evening and weekend work. Health insurance and pension plan available.
Application: Submit resume and cover letter by email or hard copy to: Dr. Stephen Penningroth, Executive Director, Community Science Institute, 283 Langmuir Lab/Box 1044, 95 Brown Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, [email protected]. The cover letter should state why the Community Science Institute interests you and how this position connects with your background, values, and career goals.
Hiring process: Interviews will be scheduled in January 2022 after the December 20 deadline for receipt of applications and after the holidays. Finalists will be invited to a second interview with the CSI Board. Target start date is February or March, 2022.