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March 24, 2017

Guest message: Christine Mundy, bureau chief, Water Resource Information

Love of nature and continual learning make her work satisfying

Bureau Chief Christine Mundy leads the scientists who collect, process, manage and disseminate hydrologic and meteorological data to support the District’s work.

It’s been a great month showcasing the women who work at the district in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields as part of the Women’s History Month observance in March. Like those before me, I am sharing some information about my journey into STEM as a way to, hopefully, help open doors for young women who may be interested in a STEM career.

As a teenager growing up in the middle of Chicago, I was fascinated with the natural world as it was depicted in television shows like Wild Kingdom. The environment where I grew up in a big city was so different than the complexity and beauty of the natural world I saw on TV and these shows inspired me to pursue a degree in environmental science. It’s been an incredible journey: I began my career collecting water quality samples in shellfish harvesting areas on Florida’s east coast and when I started at the district, my focus moved to data analysis. I later transitioned into the district’s Information Technology office, gaining both technical and managerial experience. Now in my role as a bureau chief, I manage more than 70 staff who are responsible for the collection, quality assurance and lab analysis of the district’s hydrologic, water quality and hydrogeological data as well as its well drilling program. We collect more than 8 million pieces of data each year.

As it did as a youth, the natural world continues to amaze me, and I want to further our knowledge and appreciation of it. I also want to protect it. It’s data-driven science that fuels the district’s work — data that will be a lasting resource to help answer questions we haven’t even thought to ask. Our work today will serve the public and environment for generations to come.

I’ve been fortunate over the years to be able to continue to learn new things as my job has changed and I’ve advanced. It’s that continual learning that keeps my work interesting. Whatever field you decide to go into, always keep learning. And along the way, you’ll probably also learn that you have capabilities you didn’t realize you had, and that you can go further than you might think.

(This article is part of our March STEM campaign where we are featuring female district scientists. For more articles and related info, check out our webpage at
www.sjrwmd.com/STEM/staff)

This week in district social media

If you aren't following the district on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, here are some of the things you may have missed this week....

  • Thanks to the district women who are participating in this month’s Women in STEM project as part of Women’s History Month. This week we featured district staffers Emily Wakley, Margaret Guyette, Melisa Diolosa and Deb Stone.
  • Thanks to our many partners who are already gearing up for Water Conservation Month in April. We’re excited to recognize those who recently joined the district approving proclamations. Thanks to the cities of Belle Isle, Daytona Beach, Fellsmere, Ocoee, Palm Coast, Sebastian and Winter Springs, the towns of Howey-in-the-Hills and Indian River Shores and Baker and Clay counties.
  • Are you getting spring fever? If you are itching to get outdoors and work on your garden or landscape, check out our waterwise landscape searchable plant database. www.sjrwmd.com/waterwiselandscapes
  • District staff held a permitting peer review meeting March 29 at the district’s Palm Bay Service Center. Upcoming opportunities to give us your feedback. Find details at www.sjrwmd.com/othermeetings
  • March 22 was World Water Day. By using reclaimed water, communities can conserve traditional freshwater supplies and provide an environmentally responsible alternative to disposal of wastewater. www.sjrwmd.com/waterconservation/reclaimed.html

Water conservation tip

Listen for dripping faucets and toilets that flush themselves. Fixing a leak can save 500 gallons each month.

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St. Johns River Water Management District
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