At Community Science Institute (CSI), environmental education is a core part of our mission to empower residents to become stewards of their local water resources. Thanks to a generous gift from the Community Foundation of Tompkins County directed by the estate of Dr. Tapan Mitra, CSI will be able to take that mission to new heights. Dr. Tapan Mitra was a world-renowned economic theorist and professor at Cornell University (to read more about Dr. Mitra’s life, visit his in memoriam website). In addition to his many professional accolades and accomplishments, Dr. Mitra was a responsible and compassionate community member whose legacy lives on in the support of local causes that focus on education, health, and wildlife in our region. At CSI, we are humbled and honored to be a part of that legacy thanks to a generous gift of $50,000 directed by the Tapan Mitra Estate.
With a portion of this gift from the Tapan Mitra Estate, CSI recently formed its first Agency Fund through the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. The Agency Fund, titled, “Community Science Institute’s Tapan Mitra Environmental Education Fund”, will support Community Science Institute in our work to
- collect scientifically credible data through long-term stream and lake monitoring partnerships with local groups of volunteers;
- facilitate public conversations about the use of these long-term datasets in the sustainable management of local and regional water bodies and other shared natural resources; and
- provide youth and their families with experiential, hands-on, water-focused science education opportunities with the goal of fostering the next generation of scientists, activists, and environmental stewards.
By placing this gift into an Agency Fund, CSI is able to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the gift, meaning that we have the ability to provide enriching environmental education experiences to members of our community for years to come. Working with the Community Foundation of Tompkins County has a number of benefits for our organization and our local community. George Ferrari, Community Foundation CEO said “Community Foundation delivers investment expertise, competitive fees, community knowledge and excellent customer service. The Foundation exists to manage endowments within Tompkins County and is uniquely positioned to provide core endowment management services. We are familiar with the specific operational needs of nonprofit organizations and are available to provide guidance in other areas beyond the scope of endowment management. When a mission driven organization, school or faith community partners with the Community Foundation for endowment management services, they are supporting our entire community, and mission activities similar to their own.”
CSI’s board and staff are excited about the many educational initiatives that will be possible thanks to the formation of this Agency Fund. CSI expects to announce the new educational programming supported by the Agency Fund in 2024.
The majority of the gift has been allocated to the Community Science Institute’s Tapan Mitra Environmental Education Fund, while a remaining portion of the gift will be put towards CSI’s first strategic planning effort set to take place in 2023/2024. Investing in a strategic plan will allow CSI to ensure the sustainability of our organization’s mission while enabling us to have the greatest impact possible in our community.
“Professor Mitra’s love of nature and education was well known to his wide circle of family, friends, and colleagues. He would be heartened to know that his legacy will include the sustainable support of a worthy organization like the Community Science Institute,” said Aveek Majumdar, his nephew.
This gift is the largest single contribution in Community Science Institute’s history.
You can support the legacy of the Tapan Mitra Estate and environmental education in our community by visiting this link: https://www.cftompkins.org/giving/give-online/ and typing “Community Science Institute’s Tapan Mitra Environmental Education Fund” into the Fund Name box.