Internships with the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology: 2018–2019

The Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) is a unique research institution whose mission is to apply the principles and methods of social science toward the understanding and alleviation of world problems. BARA hosts interns who are in the middle and advanced stages of their undergraduate education or in the early stages of their graduate program, have demonstrated superior ability in their coursework, and wish to apply their knowledge and skills to an actual problem. Internship initiatives are proposed by community leaders who seek to address particular challenges within their organizations and/or communities.

Most internships are offered for academic credit for a full academic year, though some one-semester opportunities are available. Internships are open to students who have at least a junior standing and at least a 3.2 grade point average; excellent writing skills are required as well. Additionally, individuals may hold an internship position in the semester immediately following their graduation. BARA interns work directly with research faculty and post-doctoral researchers and may work individually or on a project team. Within the internship initiatives, internships are tailored to the goals of each individual. Interns gain professional experience and present the results of their work in campus seminars, professional society meetings, and publications. Interns may be employed beyond their internship as warranted by their performance and project requirements.

Click the button on the left to download an application.. For more information on the internship program, contact Kevin Bulletts at the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at bulletts@email.arizona.edu.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING INTERNSHIP APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2018-2019 ACADEMIC YEAR IS APRIL 21, 2018.

Investigating and Addressing Food and Social Injustice in Southern Arizona

The Community Food Bank (CFB) of Southern Arizona takes an innovative approach to reducing food insecurity for the more than 50,000 children and families who are at risk for hunger in Southern Arizona. Together with a broad host of partner organizations, the dedicated staff of the CFB brings emergency food relief to thousands of area residents each month. At the same time however, the CFB seeks deeper and longer-term solutions to address the underlying poverty and inequities that result in food and social injustice. As an integral part of its preventative or “shortening the line” work, the Food Bank is transitioning its largest food pantry located in south Tucson into an integrated resource center and providing training, leadership development and civic engagement opportunities to empower community members to make real and lasting changes that affect their health and well-being. In 2018–2019, BARA interns will play an important role in this process by working with CFB and BARA staff to conduct ethnographic research that will contribute to a better understanding of the resources, needs, and aspirations of Tucson residents and community-based organizations in the area of Tucson near the CFB pantry. Specific activities include designing and administering questionnaires, engaging with CFB partner organizations located nearby in south Tucson, and evaluating how existing CFB programs, such as the farmer’s markets and gardening program, can enhance programming at the resource center. Interns will present their research findings in a written report as well as a presentation for CFB staff. There is no foreign language requirement for this project, but Spanish speakers will have the opportunity to use their language skills to help us reach as wide an audience as possible.

Assessing and Assisting Community Youth Programs in Tucson

Outside of the typical school curriculum, community youth programs provide supportive learning environments and mentoring to youth, families, and adults throughout Tucson. These programs often serve a vital role in facilitating alternative forms of learning and an increased sense of belonging for members of our community. Since the fall of 2014, BARA researchers and interns have gathered information and built relationships with programs in the Tucson area interested in qualitative participatory assessment of their operations and in addressing specific needs such as the recruitment and retention of volunteers. In 2018-2019, the researchers and interns will work with Owl and Panther, an expressive arts program for refugee families (sponsored by The Hopi Foundation), as part of an ongoing assessment of program assets and needs, Boys to Men, a community-based mentoring program targeting boys age 12-17 as they travel their journey to manhood, and other local organizations. Interns will receive training and direct experience in social science research methods and participatory assessment. They will learn how to work with community organizations and build cross-disciplinary connections, take interview and field notes, develop databases and analyze data, and place their research findings in the context of current theories of participation and community engagement. Interns also will participate in community forums and staff/board meetings. They will present their research findings in at least one public forum. There is no foreign language requirement for these projects, but Spanish, Arabic, or French language fluency will be advantageous.

Implementing and Assessing a Cloth Diaper Program in Tucson

The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona (DBSA) was founded in 1994 as the nation’s first diaper bank. Since its inception, the Diaper Bank has distributed more than 10 million diapers, serving over half a million infants, toddlers, disabled individuals, and seniors, through 53 partner agencies located in 10 counties throughout Arizona. The DBSA also played a key role in the creation of the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), a support system for over 250 diaper banks across the country. DBSA, and the diaper bank movement it sparked, has brought attention to a previously ignored health crisis: diaper need. Diaper need is the lack of a sufficient supply of diapers to keep a baby clean, dry and healthy. Health problems stemming from diaper need include diaper rash and urinary tract infections. To address and alleviate diaper need, BARA is working with the DBSA to gather data on the feasibility of a cloth diaper program to help alleviate the financial burden of purchasing disposable diapers. Interns will conduct ethnographic research with local community organizations and parents who have chosen to participate in a pilot project. Interns will receive training and direct experience in social science research methods, especially interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires. They will learn how to work with community organizations and build cross-disciplinary connections, take interview and field notes, develop databases and analyze data, and place their research findings in the context of current understandings of diaper need. Interns also will present their research findings in at least one public forum. There is no foreign language requirement for this project, but Spanish, Arabic, or French language fluency will be advantageous.

Implementing and Assessing a Small Scale Solar Demonstration Program in Tucson and Nogales

Renewable energy has been identified as key for sustainable growth, and despite heavy subsidies of fossil fuels by governments around the world, including the United States and Mexico, there has been a record level of growth in renewable energy in the past decade. The use of photovoltaic cells to generate electricity can offer new opportunities to businesses, schools, government offices, and residences in realms such as refrigeration, heating, lighting, and the capacity to pump and/or filter water. The border region encompassing northern Sonora, Chihuahua, and Baja California and southern Arizona, Texas, and California has the highest insolation (the period when solar radiation heats the Earth’s surface) in both countries. While considerable progress has been made in applying solar technologies in the large industrial sector and high income residential sectors in this region, insufficient attention has been paid to the application of solar technologies in households and small businessesand  in low income communities. To address this gap, BARA is working with community organizations such as the Sonora Environmental Research Instiute (SERI), Technicians for Sustainability, and the Centro de Capacitación para el Trabajo Industrial 118 (CECATI 118) to collect and synthesize locally- and regionally-specific information about feasibility, costs and benefits, and cross-border opportunities and challenges for small scale solar on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border. Interns will conduct ethnographic research with local community organizations and individuals who have experience with or interest in solar technologies. Interns will receive training and direct experience in social science research methods, especially participant observation, interviews, focus groups, and surveys. They will learn how to work with community organizations and build cross-disciplinary connections, take interview and field notes, develop databases and analyze data, and place their research findings in the context of current understandings of renewable energy. Interns also will present their research findings in at least one public forum. There is no foreign language requirement for this project, but Spanish speakers will have the opportunity to use their language skills.