The Clear Lake Environmental Research Center (CLERC) is a nonprofit organization in northern CA with a mission to bring permanent science to Clear Lake, biggest lake in CA and oldest lake in the Americas. On our way to complete our mission we are creating an accredited environmental laboratory for wastewater and drinking water. After a short time, it became clear there was no forum for the professionals working in laboratories and so we formed the California Society of Environmental Analysts (CSEA). The Society has been in existence for less than a month. We want to share the journey we took to get here because it defines who we are.
One of the CLERC Directors, Carolyn Ruttan, and the CLERC President, Will Evans, have both been complaining for years about the lack of an environmental lab in Lake County. With 90 PWSs and 25 wastewater treatment systems, it’s not as if we don’t have an immediate need for analysis. As a way to stimulate the mission of CLERC and to fill a big void in the county we are starting an accredited environmental laboratory.
On further research including visiting potential customers and laboratories it was clear that Carolyn (the scientist on the Board) needed to obtain some level of expertise for this new profession of lab analyst. She became a member of CWEA, an association with interest in the lab analyst community because it is a part of the wastewater industry for which that organization exists. Carolyn began attending every event put on by CWEA’s lab committee. This included a Feb 2019 Laboratory workshop, centered on TNI 2016. This TNI workshop along with a series of five TNI 2016 trainings have shaped Carolyn’s appreciation for the profession but at the same time the awareness of a gaping hole in knowledge-, information-, and ideas- transfer among members of the profession. There was no communication platform for the profession, no way to share tips of the profession, no place to get advice, no way to keep up-to-date, no way to share auditing experiences, no place to exchange views or thrash out ideas, no way to showcase this rather unknown profession. She was also unaware that she was coming into the profession at a particularly challenging time in CA, a time of change, and an even bigger reason for creating CSEA.
Carolyn was grateful from her one-person lab perspective to have been able to attend the TNI 2016 workshop. At the time she didn’t know the history of the accreditation system in CA but she thought it was strange for CA to have to reach out to Illinois, Kansas and Florida to get a TNI 2016 perspective on lab activities. This is when she was introduced to the Florida Society of Environmental Analysts by their president, Robin Cook, and realized the common platform she was searching for existed in another state. And it was clear that another function of the society would be interstate communication.
The CSEA is open to all environmental professionals engaged in any part of the collection, analysis and interpretation of environmental data.
As a part of our by laws the specific purposes of CSEA are:
To establish a forum for the exchange of information on environmental analysis with respect to accreditation, methods, auditing, best practices, quality assurance, research, and strategies for change through meetings, social media and other appropriate means.
To cooperate with local, state, regional and national agencies, both public and private, in the production of analytical data of a known quality.
To promote uniformity and coordination of activities among agencies concerned with regulatory aspects of environmental analysis.
Encourage scientific research and assist in promoting alternative methods and equipment through scientifically sound procedures.
Recognize and promote scientific advancement of the members and facilitate the education of environmental analysts through assistance programs.
Extend and develop public interest in, and understanding of, the environmental analyst profession.
Cooperate with the California Water Environment Association and other societies and organizations, statewide and nationally, with similar and related interests.
You can download a full version of our bylaws here.
Click here to read our full mission statement.
501 (c)3 Society History
The California Society of Environmental Researchers was founded in 2014 by Carolyn Ruttan and Will Evans in coordination with the Clearlake Environmental Research Center (CLERC):
Articles of Incorporation – filed March 21, 2019 with CA Secretary of State.
The CSEA bylaws were created June 24, 2019 according to the most recent revision of the Nonprofit Corporation Law of CA. You can view full transcripts here.
The CSEA application for IRS tax exempt status granted. Click here to see our Founding Documents
Statement of Information - filed July 1, 2019 with CA Secretary of State.