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Agricultural Research Internship at Rodale Institute Southeast Organic Center - 15447

Job Title: 
Agricultural Research Internship
Rodale Institute Southeast Organic Center
7850 Rico Road
30268 Chattahoochee Hills , GA
US
Job Type: 
Internship
Employment Type: 
Full-Time
Job Description: 

Agricultural Research interns will work directly with the Rodale Institute Southeast Organic Center’s Research staff to address current and future agricultural needs. They will participate in rigorous research focused on regenerative organic methods for agricultural production. Rodale Institute’s research focuses on biological mechanisms to improve soil health, reduce 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 at the Southeast Organic Center are:

• Tillage and Cover Crop Experiment – This work looks at the influence that varying tillage techniques and cover crop combinations have on the soil microbial community, soil nutrient levels, infiltration, compaction, yield, and vegetable nutrient density.

• 1-acre Experimental Innovation and Demonstration Garden – This work demonstrates the use of the strip tillage for soil health and water infiltration management in central Georgia clay soils.

• Allelopathic effects of cover crops on cash crop seed germination and seedling establishment – This work looks at the impact that natural cover crop allelopathic chemicals have on cash crop and weed germination and seedling establishment.

• Insect population dynamic shift when transitioning from livestock pasture to organic vegetable systems – This work assesses how insect populations change over time when a traditionally livestock farm begins a vegetable operation on the property.

• Cover crop seeding rate for effective weed control in Southern Piedmont soils – This project looks at varying cover crop mix and seeding rates to ensure enough residue biomass for effective weed control when roller crimping.

Additional Information:
• Location: Rodale Institute Southeast Organic Center, 7850 Rico Road, Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, 30268
• Compensation: Interns will be paid $7.25/hour if receiving housing, or $9.50/hour if not receiving housing. Organic produce from the farm is occasionally available during the growing season.
• Housing: Communal on-site housing is available for interns. You must notify us in advance if you need on-site housing.
• Schedule: Interns work full-time for 20 weeks. Internships are available for spring or fall (see chart below). Start and end dates are somewhat flexible if they land within the given timeframe.
• Deadlines: Application deadlines are listed below. If you miss a deadline or are interested in an internship that does not meet the minimum duration, please contact us at kristie.wendelberger@rodaleinstitute.org, as exceptions can sometimes be made based on the needs of Rodale Institute.

Internship Season: Spring; Timeframe: February-June; Application Deadline: Ongoing

Internship Season: Fall; Timeframe: July-December; Application Deadline: Ongoing 

Duties & Responsibilities: 

Responsibilities could include:
Interns spend most 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.
• Collect field soil samples and conduct soil analyses including aggregate stability, bulk density, compaction, infiltration, etc.
• Conduct plant analyses including weed identification, biomass measurements, insect scouting, etc.
• Lay out experimental field plots using, in-field measurements, and flagging.
• Assist with greenhouse seeding/transplanting and in-field transplanting, which may include watering duties over the weekends.
• Tend and maintain field and greenhouse experiments (using hand tools, weedwhackers, mowers, etc.).
• Enter data precisely and in a timely manner for statistical analysis and interpretation.
• Accurately and neatly label sample collection materials, as directed.
• Participate in monthly Research Department discussions.
• Assist the farm operations teams as needed throughout the season.

Education & Experience: 

Candidate qualifications:
• Undergraduate or graduate degree, or undergraduate student with good academic standing from an accredited college or university
• 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
• Open minded and flexible; willing to work in all departments as a team member

Application Instructions: 

Application Materials:
o Cover letter (including dates of availability and contact information for 3 references)
o Resume or CV
o Official or unofficial transcript(s)

Please send the cover letter, resume, and transcript to Dr. Kristie Wendelberger at kristie.wendelberger@rodaleinstitute.org. Please indicate which internship you are applying to in the subject line of your email.

Job Categories: 
Farming/Agriculture
Research & Science