Research interns will work directly with Rodale Institute’s Research Department to address current and future agricultural needs. They will participate in rigorous research focused on regenerative organic methods for agricultural production. Interns will identify tools and practices to help grow organic agriculture by addressing pest and fertility issues, climate change mitigation techniques, and human health through crop nutrient density. Rodale Institute’s research focuses on biological mechanisms to reduce  soil erosion, fossil fuel use, and greenhouse gas emissions; heighten nutrient and water use efficiencies; improve pollinator activity; and increase food security. We utilize systems-based approaches to soil, crop, animal, human, and planetary health. Our main experiments are:

  • Vegetable Farming System on Permanent Beds – comparing several annual and perennial ground covers as living mulch.
  • Hemp Research – investigating the best agronomical practices for CBD and fiber hemp growing.
  • Edible Cover Crop – managing cover crops to improve soil health and reduce weed pressure.
  • Additional field, greenhouse, and laboratory studies are also conducted.

Responsibilities could include:

Interns spend the majority of their time conducting field work, typically performing the following tasks:

  • Complete and present an individual research project. Interns will work in conjunction with the project Principal Investigator on data analysis and presentation.
  • Collect and process soil, plant, insect, grain, and produce samples using industry-standard protocols.
  • Conduct soil analyses including aggregate stability, bulk density, compaction, infiltration, etc.
  • Conduct plant analyses including weed identification, stand counts, vegetable system pest scouting, etc.
  • Manage weeds on the research plot and visitor’s area.
  • Lay out experimental field plots using GPS mapping, in-field measurements, and flagging.
  • Assist with trial applications, including calibration of equipment and application parameters.
  • Documentation of plot maintenance, irrigation, environmental conditions and crop conditions
  • Assist with greenhouse seeding/transplanting and in-field transplanting, which may include watering duties over the weekends.
  • Clean, repair and store all equipment daily. Notify team lead or supervisor when equipment needs repair or replacement.
  • Enter data precisely and in a timely manner for statistical analysis and interpretation.
  • Accurately and neatly label sample collection materials, as directed.
  • Participate in bi-weekly Research Department discussions based on journal articles and project updates.

Candidate qualifications:

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree, or undergraduate student with good academic standing from an accredited agriculture college or university is preferred.
  • A strong work ethic, initiative, and motivation.
  • Attention to detail and a high level of care.
  • The ability to work well individually and in a team environment.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Interest in regenerative agricultural issues, practices, and/or research.
  • Trusting and respectful attitude toward all staff and visitors.
  • Willingness to work indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Attendance, punctuality, and dependability are essential to this position.

Additional Information:

  • Location: Rodale Institute California Organic Center, 1012 W Ventura Blvd, Camarillo CA.
  • Compensation: Interns will be paid $13/hour.
  • Schedule: Interns work full-time for 12-16 weeks starting June 15th. Start and end dates are somewhat flexible, as long as they land within the given timeframe.
  • Application Materials: 
    • Cover letter (including dates of availability and contact information for 3 references)
    • Resume or CV
    • Official or unofficial transcript(s)

Please send the cover letter, resume, and transcript to Dr. Arianna Bozzolo to: California@RodaleInstitute.org

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