California: Pesticide Action Network seeks Sustainable Food Systems Intern

1 Jun
The intern will be a member of PAN’s Sustainable Food Systems team and will provide research and advocacy assistance in support of the team’s campaign goals. The team’s overall goal is to build public will to establish policies and market shifts that support agroecological farming, localized control over food systems and fairness for family farmers and workers around the world.


The intern’s work will contribute towards one or more of the following three-year project areas, depending on intern interest, skills and available time.

  • Cool the planet with climate-friendly agriculture. This work includes researching the role of sustainable agriculture in mitigating and helping farmers adapt to climate change.
  • Support organic agriculture in California. In loose coordination with the National Organic Action Plan (released in January 2010), we are working with partner groups in California to research policy needs, barriers, models and opportunities to promote sustainable and organic agriculture practices in the state.
  • Confront corporate control of the food system. Campaign activities include research and communications on the ways in which the corporate actors influence U.S. agricultural policy, while publicizing the failure of corporate “solutions” to feeding the world and reducing climate change.
  • Advocate for a just and sustainable U.S. response to global hunger. Campaign work focuses on building greater political support in the Senate, House and relevant U.S. agencies for socially and ecologically sound solutions to world hunger, that build local and global food security.This work includes close collaboration with coalition partners in the U.S. Working Group on the Food Crisis (U.S. Food Sovereignty Network).
  • Harness the power of the market. This project is developing a toolkit to help food companies promote pesticide use reduction and farmworker well-being by assessing their purchasing policies and establishing quantifiable benchmarks against which to measure and report improvement.
  • Expose (and reduce!) the harms of industrial agriculture. This work supports  our air monitoring program and campaign to stop pesticide drift, and may include research into policies aimed at reducing exposure to drift.

The intern works closely with PAN’s Senior Scientist and/or other members of the Sustainable Food Systems program. The intern may also have opportunity to represent PAN at local tabling events and may communicate with PAN North America affiliate organizations on behalf of the program work in which s/he is involved.


  • Research (internet, library), able to compile and synthesize material from a broad range of sources
  • Strong writing, editing and verbal communication skills
  • Computer skills (Word, Excel, internet)
  • Strong interest in sustainable agriculture, food systems, corporate accountability and policy advocacy
  • Ability to work both independently and as an active group participant
  • Ability to keep work organized in order for it to be interpreted by future interns or PAN staff

Time requirement: A minimum commitment of 15 hours per week is required. Hours are flexible, but there will be some meetings and required in-office hours during PAN’s regular Monday through Friday, 9:00-4:30 work week. In some instances, off-site internships can be approved.

Timeframe: Dates are flexible.

Location: The PAN office in San Francisco, near the Powell Street BART station. It is also possible to conduct some portion of the work from home or libraries (if intern has a personal computer).

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Senior Scientist and/or other members of the Sustainable Food Systems team.


There is no stipend associated with intern positions at PAN, however, we do reimburse any local commuting costs.

Benefits include:

  • Excellent springboard for those seeking career in environmental policy
  • Strengthened research, writing and advocacy skills
  • Connections to individuals within the field, including national and international networks of social justice/sustainable agriculture activists
  • Increased understanding of pesticide, sustainable agriculture, environmental science, social and climate justice, and food and agricultural policy issues
  • Experience in an established non-profit structure.
  • Increased understanding of effective routes to progressive reform
  • Reimbursement for transportation to and from the office

How to Apply

Submit the following to

  • A cover letter indicating that you wish to apply for the Sustainable Food Systems Internship. Include why you want to work with PAN and what experience/skills you hope to gain, your available dates, number of hours per week you wish to work. Please include where you learned of the position.
  • A current resume highlighting the experience and/or coursework relevant to the position
  • A brief writing sample (no more than five pages)
  • Contact information for two references (name, phone, email, relationship)
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