Summer 2020 Intern: Tucker Maata ’22 (Earth Systems)
Pesticide Action Network, based in Berkeley, CA, was founded in 1982 as part of a global movement to advance a socially just and environmentally sound food and farming system. PAN works in coalition with farmers, farmworker and rural community groups, social justice advocates, and other allies to challenge historic and ongoing racism and other forms of structural oppression, in order to create the comprehensive change needed to build such a system. PAN North America is a founding member of Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR), a statewide coalition of more than 190 organizations working to fundamentally shift the way pesticides are used in the state of California.
Potential Intern Projects Might Include
In order of priority, based on current workplans at PAN:
- Follow up with legislative offices as part of the policy advocacy process. Attend legislative committee hearings as they happen and engage in social media and other strategic communications and outreach opportunities as part of the policy campaign.
- Researching innovative and successful agricultural land use policies in other states and how they may be formulated and deployed in California’s particular regulatory landscape. The focus would be on policies related to climate change and agriculture, environmental justice, and equitable rural development. Emphasis would be on policies that effectively support resiliency to climate change impacts and support agriculture’s capacity to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration and reduction in GHG emissions.
- Analyze results of California agency air monitoring of agricultural pesticides, focusing on pesticides of relevance to community health; present to community groups and engage community members in discussion of how to ensure that the CA air monitoring program meets their needs (e.g., community emissions reductions).
- Develop community outreach materials in English (and Spanish, if possible) for projects.
Desired Qualities, Skills and Abilities
PAN welcomes and encourages applications from students who come from “frontline communities,” i.e., communities affected by pesticides. We seek interns who enjoy collaborating with diverse groups, are good listeners, and with an interest in environmental justice.
- Strong desire to learn, and willingness to ask questions as part of the learning process
- Excellent verbal and written communications skills
- Self-motivated and well-organized individual who can work independently and on teams
- Basic word processing and excel spreadsheet skills
The intern ideally would be able to work out of PAN’s Berkeley, CA office, or remotely as is dictated by Covid-19 protocols. While at PAN, interns will be expected to attend CA campaign team meetings and make use of use internal systems for scheduling and communication, such as gcal and slack. A driver’s license may be hehlpful, in the event that solo travel opportunities come up. Spanish language skills would be beneficial, though not required.
 PAN defines “frontline communities” as communities that are most affected by the harms of pesticides, including farmworkers and their families, family farmers, rural communities living near industrial agriculture, Indigenous people, and youth. These communities bear a disproportionate burden of the costs of our chemical- and fossil fuel-dependent food and farming system that is dominated by large corporate interests.