Internships support new concentration in agroecology and sustainable food systems

By Martha Brown | December 1, 2015

Darryl Wong, a UC Santa Cruz farm manager, works with undergraduate interns in agroecology as they plant potatoes on the UCSC farm. (Photo by CASFS)

As their peers settle into lecture hall seats, two dozen UC Santa Cruz interns grab a harvest bucket, a set of pruners, or a digging fork and head out to the fields and orchards of UC Santa Cruz’s organic farm and gardens. They’ll spend the morning working at whatever the season demands: planting, harvesting, pruning, making compost, or packing crops for the campus dining halls.

The interns are part of an evolving effort by UCSC’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) to integrate undergraduates into the seasonal work of the campus’s 33 acres of organic farmland and market gardens. With support from the Clarence E. Heller Foundation and a U.S. Department of Education Higher Education Challenge Grant, CASFS staff and UCSC faculty have crafted an internship program that complements the environmental studies major’s new concentration in agroecology and sustainable food systems.

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