John McEntee & Clifford Shum

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winners

OC Public Works
OC Environmental Resources
Water Quality Planning Interns

John McEntee              Clifford Shum

John McEntee and Clifford Shum served as Water Quality Planning Interns with OC Environmental Resources, contributing significantly to the division’s South Orange County Bacteria Summer Monitoring Program (SOC Program). Their passion and appreciation for the environment attracted them to the internship, and their aptitude, self-motivation and diligence quickly impressed staff, leading to their selection for roles as monitoring team leads.

John is entering his junior year at Gonzaga University, majoring in psychology and minoring in environmental science. Clifford is entering the second year of his master’s program in environmental health at UCLA. During the summer months of 2015, this intern team successfully completed the following assignments:

  • John and Clifford quickly mastered the intensive SOC Program and took on leadership roles. SOC is a 10-year regulatory compliance program requiring extensive field work in rough terrain, often in high summer temperatures, and under requirements to deliver samples to the Health Care Agency lab under a daily deadline. Thus, this work requires excellent time management, coordination, cooperation and a passion for the outdoors. Five interns worked on this project on rotating schedules. John and Clifford were not only able to deliver the samples in a timely manner, thus maintaining a good relationship with the lab, but were also able to successfully train other team members on related skills such as water sampling, stream gaging, data collection, field testing and using a laboratory information management system database. Without their involvement, meeting water quality regulation requirements would have been significantly more challenging.
  • John and Clifford demonstrated enthusiasm and willingness in filling the needs of other field monitoring programs on short notice. Their efforts included field work with the Coyote Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Bioassessment programs. They brought the experience gained from the SOC Program to these projects and successfully completed assigned tasks such as collecting water quality samples, using field monitoring equipment, conducting chemical field tests and deploying continuous flow measurement equipment.
  • John and Clifford were also willing to tackle assignments not related to field work. They provided staff support with detailed data processing projects, assisted in compiling historical data and helped prepare descriptive statistical analysis for the SOC Program and other TMDL monitoring programs for South Orange County. Their efforts have helped develop the foundation for more complicated statistical analysis to assess the effectiveness of current monitoring programs.

In conclusion, it’s important to recognize the importance of John's and Clifford’s contributions to several OC Environmental Resources programs since these programs are dedicated to protecting and restoring Orange County’s water quality.

Thank you and congratulations to John McEntee and Clifford Shum, recipients of the 2015 Excellence in Volunteer Award!

Click here to find out how you can intern with the County of Orange.