Pontchartrain Conservancy searching for CITE Steward for water testing

Published 6:08 pm Friday, July 7, 2023

LAPLACE — Pontchartrain Conservancy is hiring a CITE Steward for St. John the Baptist Parish to help lead a new community science project. The Communities Investigating Their Environment (CITE) program is a way for residents to get involved with testing local water bodies to learn what’s in the water. The CITE program is important because it engages community members to design and implement a water quality monitoring project for a local waterway of concern.

The CITE Steward is a part time, paid position that will serve as the local lead in this community driven program and pays $15/hour for approximately eight to 12 hours per month. The Steward will recruit residents to participate in this program, assist with training and upkeep of the testing kits, and assist participants with data collection and analysis.

The ideal candidate would be a St. John the Baptist Parish resident, have connections in the Parish with multiple community groups, and would also have interest or experience in water testing or environmental science in the Parish.

A meeting was held at East St. John Preparatory Academy in May to spark discussion about local waterways. During the meeting, Pontchartrain Conservancy representative Kimberly Cooke said CITE will be driven by participants, drawing on local knowledge and priorities.

“The community decides what’s important,” Cooke said. “We are trying to move beyond informing you to including you.”

St. John the Baptist Parish was selected for water quality monitoring based on its abundance of waterways, from the Mississippi River and Blind River to lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas to the bayous, canals and wetlands that crisscross the landscape.

According to Cooke, St. John Parish ranks high on impaired waterway indicators provided by the EPA, as well as social vulnerability factors including poverty levels and racial demographics.

In addition to becoming a steward, community members can get involved with CITE through sharing priorities and insights at community listening sessions or joining an advisory team.

For more information about the CITE program visit, https://scienceforourcoast.org/pc-programs/education-projects/communities-investigating-their-environment/

Please visit the following link for a full description of the CITE Steward position, https://scienceforourcoast.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/CITE-Steward-Position-Description.docx.pdf