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  • Discipline(s): Various Disciplines
  • Available: Summer Session I Summer Session II
  • Course Type: Internship
  • Taught in: English, Italian
  • Course Fee: None
  • Credits: 0-6
  • Course Travel: N/A

Summer Internship: Urban Agriculture Development

Positions Available: Urban Agriculture (UA) Development Assistants

Partner Organizations: The Umbra Institute’s Urban Garden (Orto Sole) and the University of Perugia’s College of Agriculture “Green Team”.

Orto Sole in Perugia Umbra Institute urban garden project

Summary of Position:
The UA Development Assistants will assist the Institute’s Program in Food, Sustainability, & the Environment in better collaborating with the University of Perugia’s already existing projects in urban agriculture. The Assistants will be part of the Green Team, the student interns in the College of Agriculture at the University of Perugia. These interns work on the three gardens at the nearby College—the College’s own community garden, the historic medieval garden in the convent complex where the College’s classrooms are, and the city’s botanical garden. As part of the Green Team, students will assist Prof. Grohmann and his team of student interns in developing and executing pilot activities related to the College of Agriculture’s on-going community engagement efforts. The Assistants will develop and lead projects including but not limited to DIY sustainability and environmental education for members of the local community and coordinating green space development with the local continuing education association and local schools.  The Assistants will also develop The Umbra Institute’s new urban agriculture project, Orto Sole, in tandem with other Italian students on the Green Team.

Coordinators: Professor Zachary Nowak (Umbra Institute) and Professor David Grohmann (University of Perugia)

Status: Unpaid internships for academic credit

Credit Hours: Students can select the number of credit hours they would like to do. Every 40 hours of internship time is 1 academic credit hour. This internship could be from 80 to 240 hours (2-6 credits).

Position Length: May 1st -June 30th

Position Hours: 20 hours/week from the beginning of May through the end of June

Prerequisites: The interns must have completed the Spring semster Food, Sustainability & the Environment Program at the Umbra Institute.

Visa Requirements: The students must apply for a visa. They must hold a passport valid until at least 3 months after the end date of their internship.

Internship Cost: The cost is $3,975 for credit and $2,975.00 non-credit. This cost covers housing for the student for two months as well as the tuition. Interns will have access to Umbra services and support and are welcome to join the Institute’s summer cultural activites.

Roles and Responsibilities:
• brainstorming new ideas for engaging different populations through the University of Perugia’s urban agriculture projects as well as at Orto Sole;
• helping integrate Umbra Institute and University of Perugia courses into projects at the gardens;
• helping in planning activities related to community outreach, as well as being a point person for English-speaking groups that come to learn about urban agriculture;
• working with local stakeholders on areas for future development of the University of Perugia and The Umbra Institute’s urban agriculture projects.
• writing weekly reports on the state of the Orto Sole garden with ideas on the possible future development of the garden’s physical plant for additional projects;
• creating and maintaining content for a basic website for the garden and preparing posts for social media on Urban Agriculture at Orto Sole;
• general garden maintenance along with planting, harvesting, and delivering garden produce to local non-profits for free distribution to underserved populations.

• ability to speak in public and to lead groups and volunteers;
• willingness to perform physical labor in different weather conditions;
• familiarity with social media platforms and their use for educational/promotional purposes;
• basic knowledge of gardening; enthusiastic and proactive.

Skills To Be Learned:
• using urban gardens as a location for the promotion of community and food sovereignty;
• website content development, public communication through both in person tour guiding and online promotional writing;
• developing and conducting projects on environmental education; basic project management skills: planning, budgeting, executing and assessing outcomes;
• gardening through agro-ecological methods.

Location and how students could get there: 
The University of Perugia’s College of Agriculture is located at the former San Pietro convent complex, a 15-minute walk from the main piazza; use Google maps to see the complex and its gardens. Orto Sole is in the city center within ten minutes’ walk from the Umbra Institute. See the garden on Google Maps.