Jennifer Sowerwine, Cooperative Extension Specialist

Closed (1) Marketing Support and Technical Assistance for Small-Scale Farmers in the Bay Area

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

Many small-scale farmers in the greater Bay Area experience challenges marketing their products. Immigrant farmers with limited English language fluency are particularly challenged and also experience challenges interpreting pesticide labels due to limited English language ability. During COVID, farmers have lost market access and farmers markets have closed, reopened, and closed again, with fewer customers wanting to frequent public spaces. While many farmers in other regions of California have connected to local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Box programs, a gap exists in the North and South Bay where there are fewer CSAs and food hubs to aggregate produce from small farms and supply it to either food banks or customers.

In response, the UC Cooperative Extension in the Bay Area are assisting farmers with marketing their products, conducting research on barriers and needs from these farmers, and evaluating municipal urban agriculture codes to support urban farmers. Interns will have an opportunity to learn about what Cooperative Extension is by offering research and technical support to help enhance the viability of small-scale BIPOC farmers in our state.

We envision having 1) 1 intern support online sales for curbside pickup for North Bay farmers' markets and when possible, develop a marketing plan as part of a community engaged research project with support from a Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant (closed), 2) 1 bilingual Spanish-speaking student analyze, code, and summarize qualitative data from focus groups about farmers markets held in Spanish (open), 3) 1 intern conduct research on the participation of BIPOC farmers in Bay Area Farmer's markets (closed), and 4) 1 student inventory municipal urban agriculture codes and create supportive outreach materials (open).

All interns will learn about challenges facing small-scale farmers of color in the North Bay and broader Bay Area and about outreach strategies to help improve sales and economic viability of small scale farmers. By supporting UC Cooperative Extension Small Farms team in the Bay Area, they will learn about Cooperative Extension as a possible future career path as well barriers and opportunities for supporting small-scale BIPOC farmers.

Due to COVID-19, all work will be conducted remotely. Please indicate which open position you are interested in applying for.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Julia Van Soelen Kim, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: - Experience with Microsoft Excel and/or Google Sheets and Google Forms. - Excellent organizational skills - Excellent verbal communication skills - Ability to speak and write Spanish (for the second position related to coding and analyzing Spanish language focus group data)

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Closed (3) Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative: Botanical focused research and herbarium specimen mounting

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2021.

The Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative aims to enhance the resilience of cultural agroecosystems under variable climatic conditions within the Karuk Aboriginal Territory in the Klamath River Basin of Northern California and Southern Oregon. Through integrated research and extension, we aim to 1) Assess the condition of cultural agroecosystems and component cultural foods and fibers to understand how land use, land management, and climate variables have resulted in agroecosystem resilience or vulnerabilities, 2) develop innovative decision making tools through community-based planning processes that can improve land management decision-making at the federal, state, tribal and community levels, and 3) build capacity of the Karuk Tribe through workshops and mentorship in research, analysis, mapping and visualization techniques to assess and manage for abundant cultural food and fiber resources and overall agroecosystem resilience beyond the grant. Internship positions will tie into integrated research and extension objectives, including the Agroecosystem Condition Assessments (ACA), an analysis of historical plant voucher specimens, efforts to expand the Karuk Tribes’ herbarium collections and capability to measure and monitor changes in the distribution and abundance of cultural food and fiber plant species, and an assessment of the impacts of long-term ecological change, land-use/management and projected future climate scenarios on cultural foods and fibers and associated habitats.

Tasks for this position:
• Conduct research in the herbarium archives and online on collectors of voucher specimens
• Review botanical related publications and summarize pertinent information
• Work on completing botanical guidebook using pictures and information pulled from botanical related readings
• Participate in short training on voucher specimen mounting at the Herbaria on campus
• Mount pressed voucher specimens collected in the field for the Karuk Herbarium
• Enter collected data into herbarium spreadsheet
• Create labels for each specimen based on compiled data
, Post-Doc

Qualifications: • Experience working with plants in some capacity • Experience reading academic literature and summarizing key information • Experience working in a herbarium and/or mounting voucher specimens (a plus but not mandatory) • Experience searching through references or archival sources for desired key words or names (a plus but not mandatory) • Attention to detail, precision, and patience when performing detail oriented and tedious tasks (e.g. data entry, archival readings) • Experience with data entry • Proficiency in Word, Excel, Google drive and online search engines • Ability to work independently and stay focused on deliverables Time commitment for this position is 10-15 hours per week.

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

Related website:
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