Andy Clark suggested that the following information about
internships at The Land Institute be posted on the Sustainable Ag.
Network's discussion group (sanet-mg). Thanks, David Van Tassel
Internships at The Land Institute
February 1998 - December 1998
Who should apply?
College graduates or upper-level undergraduates. Some agricultural or
biological field experience is preferred.
Intern Work and Study :
--Interns operate the Sunshine Farm with the farm manager. Farmwork
includes pulling weeds, making and storing hay, moving and watering
livestock, building fence, maintaining equipment and harvesting.
--Interns work as field and lab assistants to the research staff.
Most of the Natural Systems Agriculture and Sunshine Farm experiments
are long-term projects. As research assistants, interns may plant and
weed the experimental plots, hand-harvest experimental crops, thresh
and weigh harvested grain, wash glassware and pots, identify species
in community assembly plots, take soil samples and perform a number of
soil quality tests, and enter and process data on the computer.
--Interns maintain the buildings and grounds. Tasks include mowing,
painting, landscaping and cleaning. Interns are also given collective
responsibility for the large organic intern vegetable garden.
--Interns help host public programs, such as the annual spring Prairie
Festival and fall Visitor's Day and give tours to our many visitors.
--History and ecology of agriculture.
--Natural and environmental history of the North American prairie.
--Issues in sustainable agriculture and sustainable culture.
--Natural Systems Agriculture: plant life-history strategies,
community assembly and ecology, soil ecology and nutrient cycling ,
insect and pathogen ecology, biodiversity, crop evolution, plant
genetics and biotechnology
Spring and Fall: Classes three mornings per week plus reading
assignments, afternoon work.
Summer: Work. Special seminars, speakers, and field trips will be
scheduled throughout the year.
--Intern stipend: $598 per month.
--Room and board: Interns find their own housing in Salina and
provide their own meals. Produce is available seasonally from the
garden and orchard.
Good health, stamina, and a love of working outside in sometimes
extreme conditions are essential. Interns will be expected to
complete assigned readings on their own time and participate in class
Write an essay of 750-1000 words outlining your past academic and job
experience, major interests, and goals for the future. Describe what
involvement you have had in agricultural, environmental, or related
political issues and what reading you have done concerning sustainable
agriculture. Include any practical experience and skills you think we
should know about. Explain why you want to be an intern at The Land
Institute in 1998. Have a copy of your transcripts and two letters of
recommendation sent to The Land Institute. Finalists will be
interviewed by phone. Include a phone number where you can be reached
in October and November. Applications must be postmarked by October
15, 1997; candidates will be notified whether they have been
accepted by December 1, 1997.
Send applications to: Intern Program, The Land Institute, 2440 E.
Water Well Road, Salina, KS 67401
The Land Institute does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, or
national or ethnic origin.
THE LAND INSTITUTE
Most agricultural research aims at higher production. But
conventional high-yield agriculture often reduces the long-term
ability of the land to produce food. Agriculture that relies on
non-renewable fossil fuels, causes soil erosion and environmental
pollution, and depopulates rural communities is not sustainable.
Farmers can mitigate soil erosion and depletion of soil fertility by
rotating crops, building terraces, and employing "conservation
tillage." These practices reduce the adverse environmental effects of
contemporary agriculture. In the long run, however, they may not be
enough: we need to find more radical solutions based on the
principles of nature's ecosystems. Research at The Land Institute
envisions a sustainable agriculture for the North American Great
Plains modeled on the prairie ecosystem, one less dependent on fossil
fuels and chemicals, one more conserving of water and soil and of
The prairie is a regenerative system that features perennials in
polyculture, runs on sunshine, and "pays its own bills" internally.
Researchers at The Land Institute conduct biological studies which are
designed to create high seed-yielding mixtures of perennial prairie
plants. Our Sunshine Farm project seeks to determine how close a farm
can come to sponsoring its own fuel and fertility using only solar
The Land Institute is a non-profit research and education
organization established in 1976 along the Smoky Hill River southwest
of Salina, Kansas. It is devoted to sustainable agriculture and good
stewardship of the earth. The Land Institute offers a unique
post-graduate internship program, serves as a center for the study of
environmental and agricultural issues, and conducts pioneering
research into the development of sustainable agriculture and
communities based on the model of the prairie.
The Land Institute occupies about 277 acres in north central Kansas,
including approximately 100 acres of native tallgrass prairie, 60
acres of restored prairie, 75 acres of arable bottomland, and 30 acres
of woodlands, gardens and facilities. A classroom building, which
contains a library, study areas and kitchen, is the center of intern
activity on our original 28-acre site. Research staff offices, a
research library, a seed storage room and the business office are next
door. Several barns and sheds provide additional work space and house
equipment. An energy-efficient greenhouse south of the office
building allows research to continue throughout the year.
Wes Jackson (Ph.D., genetics, North Carolina State Univ.), President
Marty Bender (Ph.D., ecology, U. of Kentucky), Sunshine Farm Ecologist
David Van Tassel (Ph.D., plant biology, U. of California, Davis),