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The following is a current job opening:

Summer Intern (Paid) — Modesto — Part Time

About Sustainable Conservation

Sustainable Conservation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization helping California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air, and water. Every day, we bring together business, land owners, and government to steward the resources we depend on in ways that make economic sense, because we know that common ground is California's most valuable resource.

Our Clean Air Farming program focuses on land management practices, like conservation tillage, that benefit both the land owner and our region’s air quality. Conservation tillage reduces the number of passes a farmer needs to use to prepare the field, saving both time and labor. Reducing the number of passes reduces both tractor usage and soil disturbance, lowering diesel and dust released, helping to improve the region’s air quality.

Position Summary

We are seeking a summer intern to help us assess the progress we are making in this program. The paid, part-time internship will take place between May 2016 and August 2016 and work out of our Modesto office. The intern will work approximately 20 hours/week to help us conduct a phone survey of growers. The survey seeks to estimate the silage corn acres in the San Joaquin Valley that are under different forms of tillage. The intern will be primarily responsible for conducting the phone interviews, with some responsibility for organizing and managing the responses.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Reaching out to individual growers to explain the purpose of the survey and ask for participation
  • Scheduling the interviews with each grower
  • Walking each grower through the survey and recording the responses
  • Compiling the results of the survey responses for further analysis, i.e. data entry into a spreadsheet
  • Sending "Thank you" notes to each grower after participation
  • Recording any follow-up information the grower requests and sending the follow-up information
  • Joining staff for field visits to verify results of the phone interviews
  • Preparing a written report, with staff, summarizing the results of the survey (i.e. data analysis) and lessons learned during the process
  • Preparing and presenting an oral report, summarizing the major messages from the written report

Learning Opportunities for the intern

The internship provides opportunity for the intern to develop skills in gathering, managing, and analyzing data. The internship will help build upon existing communication skills, both during the phone interviews and an oral presentation to the team of the results and lessons learned of the survey. The intern will share in authorship of an internal report on the results of the survey, which will be used to help the organization prepare proposals and reports to other organizations.

The intern will join staff for field visits to confirm the results of the survey, giving the intern some exposure to conservation field work. Given the nature of the work, the intern will develop and practice time management and planning skills.

The intern will also have an inside look at how a non-profit like Sustainable Conservation operates and will be invited to join staff meetings and dairy team meetings, to learn more about the organization’s programs.


We are seeking an individual with interest in agriculture, land stewardship, soil health, and/or conservation. A willingness to learn and excellent communication skills are essential, as are good note taking skills. Proven time management skills are a plus. The role will require up to 20 hours per week (up to four hours per day) sitting at a desk, working on a computer, and talking on the phone. A valid California driver’s license is required.

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience with agricultural systems
  • Working knowledge of farming equipment and field operations
    • The intern will be asking farmers detailed questions about their farming operations in order to determine if fields meet the conservation tillage criteria and experience with using farming terminology will be most helpful in ensuring successful survey responses
    • We will, of course, provide training to the intern as needed
  • Personal connections to the agricultural community in the San Joaquin Valley is a big plus, as it will help an intern connect with the growers. Experience with data entry and/or data analysis is also a plus.

To apply: Please send résumé and cover letter describing how your prior experience will set you up for success in this position. Please include “Conservation Tillage Survey Summer Intern” in subject line: No phone calls please. We will contact you if we need more information or wish to set up an interview.

Sustainable Conservation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.