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Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Stephen Penningroth

Executive Director of the Community Science Institute

Steve Penningroth has been working full-time as the Executive Director of the Community Science Institute
and as Technical Director of CSI's certified water testing lab since 2003. My interest is in recruiting and partnering with groups of citizen volunteers to produce long-term data sets on water quality in Cayuga Lake and its tributaries. Water quality monitoring partnerships that CSI brokers typically involve one or more local government agencies, such as the county Soil and Water Conservation District, in addition to the volunteer group and CSI. Most of 

the funding for monitoring partnerships currently comes from municipal governments. You can get a better idea of what I do at CSI by visiting CSI's website at

Management-Quality Data from Volunteer Stream Monitoring Partnerships in the Cayuga Lake Watershed

The Community Science Institute (CSI) has since 2003 partnered with groups of citizen volunteers to monitor water quality in up to seven streams that feed Cayuga Lake and, to a lesser extent, in Cayuga Lake itself. Volunteers perform synoptic sampling events several times a year, collecting water samples at approximately six to twelve fixed locations on each stream under base flow and stormwater conditions. The samples are analyzed by CSI's certified lab in Ithaca, NY, for bacteria, sediment, nutrients and minerals. Results are disseminated in  the form of graphs, tables and narrative summaries on CSI's website at Monitoring results are gradually gaining local and regional acceptance as valuable sources of information for agency professionals, municipal governments, and the general public.

Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research... this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research.

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