Internships with the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology: 2017–2018

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

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 generate food insecurity and hunger. As an integral part of its preventative or “shortening the line” work, the food bank is currently transitioning its largest food pantry located in south Tucson into an integrated resource center. This resource center will offer emergency food services in conjunction with programming in the areas of education, civic leadership, direct services, and assistance with accessing governmental assistance programs. In 2017–2018, BARA interns will form an integral part of this transition process by working with CFB and BARA staff to design and carry out a needs assessment of current CFB clients in Tucson and conducting ethnographic research to learn more about existing services in the area. The information will be combined in order to determine which services would be most needed and utilized at the new resource center. Specific activities will include designing and administering a questionnaires for CFB clients, 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, and may also choose to participate in the annual meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology in the Spring of 2018. 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.

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.