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 AUGUST 15, 2018.

Investigating Food-Based Approaches to Disease and the Role of Community Support in their Success

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 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 improve health and nutrition of its clients and to address the underlying poverty and inequities that generate food insecurity and hunger in our region. In 2018–2019, working with CFB and BARA staff, BARA interns will engage with CFB clients to better understand their food-based approaches to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and the role of family and community in supporting their efforts. The information will inform the CFB’s Health and Nutrition initiative. Specific activities include working with clients and CFB staff to develop appropriate research instruments and to design and carry out interviews and focus groups. Interns will learn how to place their research findings in the context of nutritional anthropology and present their research findings in a written report as well as a presentation for CFB staff and clients. 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 Boys to Men, a community-based mentoring program targeting boys aged 12-17 as they travel their journey to manhood. 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 youth development. 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 this project.

Implementing and Assessing a Cloth Diaper Program to Address Diaper Need 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 conduct a pilot project to gather data on the feasibility of a cloth diaper program to help alleviate the financial burden of purchasing disposable diapers. The project is currently focusing on refugee families. Working with interpreters, as needed, interns will conduct interviews with parents who have chosen to participate in the pilot project. They will receive training and direct experience in social science research methods and 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 refugee policies and practices and the conditions which create 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 Swahili, Arabic, or French language fluency will be advantageous.

Developing the Potential for Small Scale Solar Implementation at the Arizona-Sonora Border

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. In 2015, the total investment in renewable power and fuels in developing countries exceeded that in developed economies, marking a key turning point in the sustainability of these alternatives. The potential for solar energy at the Arizona- Sonora border is tremendous, providing an important alternative to fossil fuels. However, to date, much of that potential is being realized in large-scale projects that may not benefit local populations. This project is designed to demonstrate the value and feasibility of solar energy for offering a viable alternative to traditional energy sources and lowering the cost of refrigeration, heating, lighting, and the capacity to pump and/or filter water for local users. Interns will learn how to work with community organizations and Mexican academic institutions such as the Universidad Tecnológica de Nogales as they build cross-disciplinary and cross-border connections. They will receive training and direct experience in social science research methods, take interview and field notes, develop databases and analyze data, and place their research findings in the context of current U.S. and Mexico energy policies and practices. Interns also will participate in community forums and advisory board meetings. They will present their research findings in at least one public forum. Interns must be able to understand Spanish and will have the opportunity to develop and use their language skills.