Internships with the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology and School of Anthropology: 2022–2023

Helping Address Significant Challenges Facing Our World

The Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) is a unique research institution within the School of Anthropology 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, a solid academic record, and excellent writing skills. 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


Reducing Food Insecurity and Creating Healthier Urban Ecosystems through Native Foods

Located on a permaculture farm at the edge of Saguaro National Park, Desert Harvesters has rewilded urban spaces and educated the public about foods native to the Sonoran Desert for the past 25 years. Desert Harvesters works to expand access to native foods with the end goal of reducing food insecurity and creating healthier urban ecosystems. Supported by a grant from the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Desert Harvesters has embarked on a series of initiatives to introduce a new and more diverse generation to the native foods of southern Arizona. BARA interns will help gather information about participant experiences with existing and new programs offered by the organizations. Interns will engage in hands-on research activities: helping with native foods demonstrations at the Santa Cruz River Farmers' Market, interviewing longtime members of the Desert Harvesters community, developing a survey to collect feedback on Desert Harvesters' forthcoming cookbook, and perhaps even testing some recipes! Interns will gain skills in designing and conducting research and will share their experiences in at least one public forum, showcasing their work and the skills that they gained. There is no foreign language requirement for this project.

Evaluating Healthy Homes Interventions

In 1999, in response to a Congressional Directive over concerns about child environmental health, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development launched its Healthy Homes Program to protect children and their families from housing-related health and safety hazards. The Program addresses multiple childhood diseases and injuries in the home through a comprehensive approach that focuses on housing-related hazards in a coordinated fashion, rather than addressing a single hazard at a time. For more than a decade, the Tucson-based Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc. (SERI) has implemented healthy homes interventions and education to reduce unintentional injuries and fires resulting from housing-related hazards. In 2022-2023, SERI and BARA researchers are partnering to determine the effectiveness and longevity of the interventions and determine the barriers and incentives affecting future use of such cost-effective strategies. BARA interns will help conduct and analyze data from a household survey. They will receive training and direct experience in social science research methods and participate in project team meetings and community forums. They will present their research findings in at least one public forum. Interns must have at least intermediate Spanish language skills and will have the opportunity to develop and use them.

Digital Archaeology and Southwestern Artifact Collections Curation

The School of Anthropology, with the Arizona State Museum, invites applications for internships to work with the School's Southwest Laboratory to prepare archaeological collections for digital and physical curation. Excavations and survey by the University of Arizona Archaeological Field School at Pinedale were conducted between 1993 and 2004 in the Silver Creek area of Arizona’s White Mountains. The Silver Creek Archaeological Research Project (SCARP) collections are a valuable resource for looking at Ancestral Pueblo social, economic, and political changes between AD 500 and 1400. Since the field school was completed, the Southwest Lab has received major grants from the National Science Foundation to create publicly-accessible digital databases from across the Southwest that are merged into a single platform called cyberSW 1.0 ( A current NSF grant is adding intra-site data to an expanded version of this platform (cyberSW 2.0). The goals of both SCARP and cyberSW are training of students, public education, preservation of digital and physical collections for research, and outreach. In 2022-2023, working with faculty and staff from the UA School of Anthropology and Arizona State Museum, interns will assist with museum collections management and cataloging, including rehousing and inventorying physical collections, and digitizing paper records for inclusion in cyberSW 2.0. Students will learn about how archaeological cyberinfrastructures are created and used and be introduced to a wide range of archaeological materials from the Mogollon Rim region. Interns will receive training and hands-on experience and will share their experiences through at least one public forum. There is no foreign language requirement for this project.


Exploring Diversity in Engineering

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines play an important role in the United States today. Multiple national-level science institutions (e.g., National Science Foundation, National Academy of Engineering) have made it a priority to make STEM fields representative of the society they serve. Unfortunately, despite this focus, many STEM fields are not representative; engineering in particular lags. Systematic and sustained efforts have led to a rising proportion of women and people of color in other STEM fields, but they have had far less impact on engineering. In some fields and at some levels the representation of women and people of color has actually declined in recent years. After graduation, a further winnowing results in persistently low diversity among practicing engineers. This research project seeks to better understand UA students’ interest in engineering, their experiences with engineering courses and activities, and if interventions that emphasize the social benefit of engineering will increase diversity. In 2022-2023, interns will work with faculty and staff from BARA and the College of Engineering. BARA interns will receive training and direct experience in social science research methods, help conduct participant observation in introductory-level engineering courses, take field notes, participate in project planning, help conduct interviews with UA engineering students, take interview notes, analyze data, and participate in project team meetings and community forums. They will present their research findings in at least one public forum. There is no foreign language requirement for this project.