Student Internship and Volunteer Opportunities


    Summer 2022 Center for Agroecology Internship and Volunteering

  • The Farm Field and Chadwick Garden are welcoming interns and volunteers - *In-person* summer 2022 

    In-person student intern and volunteer fieldwork opportunities remain OPEN. Details for each site and scheduled volunteer fieldwork is included in this sign-up form

    Welcome! Thanks for your interest in getting involved with the Center for Agroecology! 

    The Center manages and supports UCSC campus programs and facilities that focus on hands-on experiential learning in production, distribution and nutritional and culinary operations, as well as research in organic farming and agroecological production practices. All of our work advances our mission of advancing agroecology and equitable food systems through experiential education, participatory research, agricultural extension, and public service. We envision an equitable food system that empowers local communities, builds relationships, and nourishes all people and the environment, and are committed to fostering diversity throughout the Center and equity in access to food, resources, and knowledge.

    The Center for Agroecology is committed to serving underrepresented students and hiring students who are in need of financial support through our educational and employment programs. If you are unable to intern with us this quarter, due to time constraints or scheduling conflicts, please consider volunteering and getting to know the place, people and programming. 

    We offer in-person, hands-on internships that focus on introductory fieldwork and food systems experiences across our campus sites, prioritizing students’ basic needs for food access. Internship fieldwork focuses on land-based agricultural and horticultural production and post-harvest handling to food distribution through Produce Pop-Ups, and nutritional and culinary preparation and services in the Cowell Coffee Shop. Our sites include the Field, Farm Garden, Black Lives Matter Garden, Alan Chadwick Garden, Produce Pop-Up markets at Bay Tree Plaza and Porter College, as well as the Cowell Coffee Shop, and the Demeter Seed Library at Oakes College. Students will primarily focus their fieldwork at one of these sites with opportunities to work across sites further outlined in the sign-up form for each quarter. Summer interns and volunteers are able to work in the Farm Field and Chadwick Garden sites, only.

    Come be part of making these operations, which are focused on serving and supporting students, actually work for students, and for you! When you intern with us, you will join a team of students who are all working and learning together and from each other, as well as learning from the land and our Center student staff and professional staff. 

    Our internships are run through the Environmental Studies Department’s “Internship Office.” Please read the Internship Office instructions for internship programing carefully, as they are the entity that manages all the enrollment requirements and evaluations. The Center for Agroecology serves as the “Agency Supervisor” for both lower division two and five unit internships. The Center provides you with the internship fieldwork. Two unit internships require an average of 6 hours per week of fieldwork. Five unit internships require an average of 12 hours per week of fieldwork.

    We have two sites and fieldwork activities to choose from and we have further details about each site below (please take a look and think about where you would want to dig in to your experience!). Fieldwork opportunities exist in the Farm Field and the Chadwick Garden, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 8 am-12 noon.  Depending on class schedules, we can make some accommodations for students who need to leave somewhat early to make a class however, all interns need to be able to start their fieldwork at the scheduled start time, so that the fieldwork introductions can happen together, as a team. 

    Sign-up form can be found HERE

    Please read and fill out this internship sign-up form so we can get you started doing fieldwork! For interns, once you fill out this form, the Internship Office will send you a course number that you will need to enter into your “myUCSC” website in order to enroll. You must take this additional step of entering the course number into “myUCSC" to register for this internship and get units. Volunteers can just show up!

    While you are engaged in fieldwork with us, we may also be hiring paid student staff to contribute to our educational and production programs. Hiring students is part of our student success and retention programing for students with financial need. Our student staff start at $17/hour and are part of a Leadership Development Program that provides hands-on, project-based training opportunities leading towards positions as Student Assistant Managers. Student staff have the potential to work with the Center for many years, while getting credit and studying at UCSC. Please talk with our staff once you start your internship or volunteer fieldwork. We look forward to working and learning with you!

    Fieldwork Site Descriptions

    Farm Field

    Located at the base of campus between the Hay Barn and the Village. Interns and Volunteers in the Field site will be engaged in a diversified tractor scale production system. This includes seed propagation, transplanting, harvesting, weeding, irrigation, orchard care, and research activities. During the spring internship, time will be spent harvesting produce for our Basic Needs program as well as planting and tending a diversity of summer vegetable crops. You will join a team of 6+ existing farm student staff to keep the field running!

    Chadwick Garden

    Located just below Merrill College. Learn basic skills related to organic growing superimposed on the care, shepherding, upkeep of the Chadwick garden. Basic activities revolve around intensive gardening, using raised beds we will look at and engage in a wide range of activities; soil and tillage, direct sowing and transplanting of fall vegetables and flowers, basic fruit tree care, watering, weed, control, crop culture, greenhouse propagation, fertility - compost, cover crops and use of organic fertilizers in an 'idyllic setting'- a biodiverse mixed intensive garden.

    Inter-Site Internships

    For students interested in interning across both the Farm Field and Chadwick Garden. These inter-site offerings are intended for students that want broader exposure to operational sites and their relative contexts in the campus food system.