Internships with the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology: 2016-2017

NOTE: Due to some special opportunities for the 2016-2017 academic year, applications for the BARA Internship Program are being accepted until Wednesday, August 17. Click on the left panel for an Application.

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.

Most internships are offered for academic credit for a full academic year. 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. Internships are tailored to the goals of each individual within the internship initiatives. 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.
 
For more information on the internship program, contact Kevin Bulletts at the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at bulletts@email.arizona.edu.

Understanding Participation in Urban Farming in Southern Arizona 

Increasing interest in urban farming and gardening has led to a proliferation of farm and garden sites and models for involving residents in urban food production, even in arid environments such as in southern Arizona and northern Sonora. As part of their efforts to help community organizations understand and address food insecurity in the region (see “Investigating and Addressing Food Insecurity in Southern Arizona” below), BARA researchers have begun assessing participation in urban farm programs in Tucson. During 2016-2017, interns will continue the development and implementation of a qualitative assessment at local urban farms. Participants will receive training in and gain direct experience with social science research methods, participatory assessment, and participant-observation. They will learn how to work with community organizations, 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 meetings. They will present their research findings in at least one public forum and may choose to participate in the annual meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology in the Spring of 2017. There is no foreign language requirement, but Spanish language fluency will be a significant plus.

Investigating and Addressing Food Insecurity in Southern Arizona

According to the Community Food Bank (CFB) of Southern Arizona, at least 50,000 children are at risk for hunger in Southern Arizona. Seeking to go beyond meeting the emergency food needs of hungry people, the CFB has established a goal of reducing food insecurity, defined as “experiencing limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or uncertain economic and physical ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” During 2012-2014, in partnership with CFB staff, BARA interns worked closely with faculty and community partners to help document and better understand the role of the Las Milpitas Community Farm culminating in the production of the short film Growing Together and a series of assessments delivered to the organization.  In addition to these, the team designed and carried out a comprehensive survey to assess the local community's use of the food bank intended to understand topics pertaining to food insecurity in Tucson. From 2013 to 2016, BARA interns continued to work with the CFB to learn how members of Tucson households at risk of food insecurity meet their food needs. During 2016-2017, BARA interns will continue the partnership with the CFB, using surveys and ethnography to understand the food needs of community members in Tucson and the surrounding areas. Interns will receive training in and gain direct experience with social scientific research methods, participatory assessment, and participant-observation. They will learn how to work with community organizations, conduct surveys, take interview and field notes, develop databases and analyze data, and place research findings in the context of current theories of risk and responses to these challenges. Interns will participate in community forums and staff meetings. They will present their research findings in at least one public forum as well as an online venue, and may choose to participate in the annual meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology in the Spring of 2017. There is no foreign language requirement for this project, but Spanish language fluency will be a significant plus.

Identifying and Addressing Environmental Challenges on the Arizona-Sonora Border

The U.S.-Mexico border has a population of approximately 13 million residents and experiences disproportionate levels of poverty, air and water pollution, and lack of basic infrastructure, when compared with other parts of the United States. Since the late 1990s, BARA faculty, staff, and students have worked with leaders and residents of border communities of Arizona-Sonora to explore alternative technologies designed to reduce air and water contamination and improve living conditions in their communities. During the 2016-3017 academic year, interns will gain valuable experience working as part of a binational, interdisciplinary team that includes students and faculty at Mexican institutions of higher education; teachers and students from elementary, middle and high schools; neighborhood leaders and residents; and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border. Interns will work in interdisciplinary teams with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates and will receive training in and gain direct experience with social science research methods, urban gardening, and working with community partners. They will learn how to take interview and field notes, develop databases, and analyze data. They will present their research findings in at least one public forum as well as an online venue, and may participate in the annual meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology. Student interns must have competency in Spanish.

Assessing and Evaluating Community Education Programs in Tucson

Outside of the typical school day or school curriculum, community education 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 disadvantaged and refugee groups. 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 or evaluation of their operations. In 2016-2017, the researchers and interns will continue working with Owl and Panther, an expressive arts program for refugee families (sponsored by The Hopi Foundation), to identify objectives and methods and facilitate the participatory assessment process. Interns will receive training and direct experience in social science research methods, participatory assessment, and participant-observation. They will learn how to work with community organizations and build cross-disciplinary connections, take interview and field notes, develop databases and analyze data (with special emphasis on linguistic and discourse analysis), 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 meetings. They will present their research findings in at least one public forum and may choose to participate in the annual meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology in the Spring of 2017. There is no foreign language requirement for this project but Spanish, Arabic, or French language fluency will be advantageous.