Internships with the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology: 2021–2022

Helping Address Significant Challenges Facing Our World

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.

SUBMIT INTERNSHIP APPLICATIONS FOR THE FALL 2021 SEMESTER BY APRIL 19.

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 2021-2022, SERI researchers are partnering with BARA 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 design, conduct, and analyze data from interviews and 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.

Reducing Energy Poverty and Promoting Energy Equity through Solar Technology in Arizona-Sonora

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. And, although Arizona ranks 2nd in the U.S. for the number of solar installations, most solar panels are found in high income communities where residents can afford the up-front costs or have the credit rating to take on a lease. The end result is that solar technologies disproportionately benefit wealthier residents. In 2021-2022, interns will work with community organizations in Tucson and Nogales to investigate whether solar technologies will lower household energy bills and the conditions under which a solar loan program would be feasible and attractive to low-income families. They will receive training and direct experience in social science research methods, take interview and field notes, administer surveys, 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 present their research findings in at least one public forum. Interns must have at least basic Spanish language skills and will have the opportunity to develop and use them.

Using Digital Archaeology and Virtual Education to Preserve a Fragile Urban Archaeological Site

The University Indian Ruin Archaeological Research District is a 13-acre historic property located in the northeastern Tucson basin. The District encompasses the central part of a Classic period Hohokam village occupied between A.D. 1150 and 1450 and a complex of archaeological research facilities constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1935 and 1937. Dorothy A. Knipe donated the core of the property to the University of Arizona in 1934 for archaeological investigation and public outreach. The University of Arizona’s mission in managing University Indian Ruin (UIR) is preservation, training of students, and public education and outreach. The purpose of this project is to explore digital archaeology and virtual education as a mechanism for balancing the simultaneous preservation of a fragile archaeological site that is today surrounded by urban development with archaeological research, student training, and public education and outreach. In 2021-2022, working with faculty and staff from the UA School of Anthropology and Arizona State Museum, BARA interns will help conduct oral history and archival research and assist with museum collections management and cataloging. They also will contribute to the development of an online research and education program. Interns will receive training and direct experience and will share their research findings in written text for the project website and through presentations in at least one public forum. There is no foreign language requirement for this project.

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. The proportion of engineering degrees earned by women and people of color is rising at a stubbornly slow pace, mainly reflecting increases in these groups’ overall representation at universities; in some fields and at some levels their representation 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 2021-2022, 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.