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Feb 15 / BARD CEP

Socio-Cultural Research Intern – Ghent, NY

Organization: Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program

Position Title: Socio-Cultural Research Intern

Location: Ghent, NY

Hours & Compensation:  40-45 hrs/week. On-farm housing with shared kitchen and bathroom and a $650/month stipend provided.

Position Dates: May-August/December 2013 (3-6 months total, exact dates are flexible)

Posted On: February 13, 2013.

Organization Overview:

The Farmscape Ecology Program is dedicated to exploring the human and natural dimensions of the landscape of Columbia County, NY through research and outreach. Our interdisciplinary research focuses on historical, current and potential future interactions of people with the land. The Program is part of Hawthorne Valley Association, an educational nonprofit, and is comprised of wildlife ecologist Conrad Vispo, botanist Claudia Knab-Vispo, social scientist Anna Duhon, and technician Kyle Bradford.

Our work is currently focused on the Living Land Project, a multi-year collaborative exploration of the ecology and culture of Columbia County habitats. This Project includes both the mapping of ecological habitats in the County and research into people’s diverse perceptions and interactions with the landscape. By involving community participants in the research and by sharing the results widely, we strive to stimulate, facilitate, and inform a sense of connection to the many dimensions of the landscape.

Description and Responsibilities:

Interns will participate in implementing and supporting cultural research related to the Living Land Project. Upcoming research projects that the intern may be involved with include photo-elicitation interviews with groups of land users (e.g. farmers), children, elders, and other community members about their interaction with the land; roadside surveys of landscape features; historical research into land access and landscape change; and participatory mapping and surveys with community members at local festivals and recreational areas. Internship responsibilities will include helping to facilitate and conduct such community research projects, as well as process, analyze and share the resulting data. Responsibilities may also include helping to create and maintain an interactive web-based site for organizing, collecting and sharing research related to the Living Land Project. Additional data entry or gathering relating to the ecological fieldwork might also be requested. Finally, there is the opportunity to work with the Hawthorne Valley farmers and farm apprentices in the commercial vegetable fields for ½ day each week.


  • Strong interest in cultural research, participatory research methods, and community outreach.
  • Comfortable in a rural environment, enthusiastic, and open to working in many different settings, including the outdoors.
  • Self-motivated, sociable, enjoys actively working with diverse community members, have a positive attitude, and able to work independently with attention to detail.
  • Basic computer skills.
  • Some academic and/or work experience in the social sciences, sustainable farming/gardening, or related fields.
  • Experience conducting interviews and surveys and doing community-based research and outreach is a plus.
  • Experience with GIS software, website design, and social media is a plus.
  • Those who also have an interest in studying field ecology are urged to apply.

How to Apply:  Please send a CV including contact information for three references along with a cover letter explaining your interest in the internship, including the types of research you feel most drawn to and qualified for. Potentially suitable applicants will be interviewed by phone, and typically a personal visit to the Farm is requested before we make a final commitment. If you have questions, please contact Conrad, Claudia or Anna at 518-672-7994.

Contact Information:

Farmscape Ecology Program, Hawthorne Valley Farm,

1075 Harlemville Road, Ghent, NY 12075

Conrad, Claudia, or Anna: 518-672-7994.

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