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The UW Farm strives to build and strengthen connections between our growing spaces and academics on campus. We offer many education opportunities including Environmental Studies capstone internships, Environmental Science capstone internships, Biology internship credits, Environmental Science internship credits, and Public Health internship credits.


Research, Capstone, and Projects at the UW Farm

The UW Farm hosts and supports research and projects related to a variety of topics related to sustainable agriculture. Projects have included topics such as composting techniques, effects of various tilling methods, use of native plants to encourage beneficial insects, pest and disease control, and seed saving techniques. We particularly encourage projects and research that provide concrete benefits to both the UW Farm and the student.

Students should propose research or hands-on projects as capstone projects or independent studies with supervision from their faculty advisor.  Graduate students are also welcome to conduct research on the farm as part of their thesis research or masters project.

In addition to a project or research, UW Farm interns are required to do 10 hours of farm work per week with the farm’s crew and volunteers.


Students interested in conducting research at the UW Farm should submit a proposal to the farm manager (Sarah Geurkink, Proposals should be submitted by the sixth week of the quarter before the proposed research would begin.  Applicants are encouraged to discuss the project of interest with the farm manager before submitting a proposal.

The proposal should include the following:

  • One page describing the proposed project: problem, methods, expected outcome(s), including relevant literature
  • One page summarizing:
    • Relevance and potential benefits to the farm
    • Cost / funding needs and (if applicable) potential funding sources
    • Space requirement and availability
    • How the project will satisfy capstone, credit, or other requirements for the student researcher

The farm manager will review and send acceptable proposals to the UW Farm research committee.  The research committee will review proposals and respond to the student researcher by the beginning of the 8th week of each quarter.

Student researchers must submit a .pdf of the final report to be archived.


Farm Course Offerings

Biology 486 Agroecology Seminar

Biology 399 Internship

ENVIR 495 Farm Lunch

SEFS 399 Internship

SPH 495 Public Health Internship

General Food Courses


Biology 486 Agroecology Seminar

Our Agro-ecology Reading Group in Winter 2016 will be led by Professor Jennifer Ruesink.

In this weekly seminar, participants will read and discuss articles covering various aspects of agroecology. Articles will be drawn primarily from peer-reviewed academic literature but may also include book chapters, farming manuals, and extension services.

The Agroecology Seminar has been added to the winter time schedule as Bio 486, accessible via add codes with no pre-reqs.

Although it says “senior seminar”, that is just a placeholder denoting that students must read and discuss at responsible academic level!

If you would like to register, please email Jennifer Ruesink <>, so that she can start a list for add codes.

Note that the course is scheduled for 4:30-5:30 on Mondays, but only so that it doesn’t overlap with other courses, and that timing can change according to participants.


Biology 399 Internship

The Biology department offers Internship Credits under BIOL 399. Professor Jennifer Ruesink advises most BIOL 399 interns. Coordinating with the Farm Manager, students can explore a project they are interested in or a research question they want to explore on one of the Student Farm’s two sites. Some previous BIOL 399 projects include:

  • Building a compost system at the farm at the Center for Urban Horticulture
  • Exploring the Microbiology and Science Behind composting
  • Achieving Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification for the UW Student Farm
  • Building a Vermicompost System at the farm at the Center for Urban Horticulture.
  • Building an herb spiral at the farm at the Center for Urban Horticulture.
  • Installing perennial fruits at the Center for Urban Horticulture

Bio399 is not a class, but is a way to give credit for an internship that you are already doing. To apply for Bio399 credits, write to the Biology Instructional Manager (currently Ben Wiggins at You’ll receive a signup form that will require the signature of your supervisor in the internship. When you return that form to Ben via email, you’ll receive an add code for the course. You can receive one credit for 3 hours of work per week for an entire quarter. You may want to check with your advisors to see how many credits would actually be useful for you before registering.

For access to all readings, log in with your UW NetID here:

Instructor: Jennifer Ruesink, Ph.D.


ENVIR 495 Farm Lunch


Farm Lunch is an informal seminar in which students, staff and faculty can explore issues related to urban agriculture. This quarter we will be focusing on carbon and climate change as it relates to food.  We will be examining the issue of carbon close to home (as soil organic matter in our backyard farms) and from the big picture (looking at the cross section of carbon and our international food system).     All are welcome.    This one credit (C.NC) class meets Wednesdays from 12:30 to 1:20 in Gould Hall Rm 435.

Course Goals:

  • To deepen our systemic understanding of agriculture and urban food systems.
  • To foster community among students/faculty/community members interested in the food movement at UW.

Instructor: Elizabeth Wheat, Ph.D. Location: Gould Hall Rm 435 Time: Wednesdays from 12:30 to 1:20

All are welcome: registration is not required


SEFS 399 Internship

Field or Teaching Internships School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

The general purpose of an internship is to provide students with an opportunity to gain experience, either in the field or in teaching. In addition to the work expectations set by a participating organization or faculty member, students are required to fulfill specific academic requirements during the internship.

Internship set‐up:  Students are responsible for exploring and coordinating internship opportunities and communicating this information back to SEFS. This includes:  making initial contact to express interest, identifying an internship supervisor, determining the type of work available, and determining the length of the internship (typically one quarter).   Once a general agreement to arrange an internship is reached, students must submit an application (see link below) that outlines the details of the internship and why it is important to their program.

Click HERE for more details and for the official ESRM 399 form for an internship. Please note, a SEFS faculty member’s signature is required.


SPH 495 Public Health Internship


The Public Health Internship (SPH 495) is an opportunity for Public Health Majors to earn credit for an academic project constructed in conjunction with an internship. Click here for more information about SPH 495 and it’s requirements.

The UW Farm offers two public health related internships; Environmental Health Majors, Public Health Majors, and Nutritional Sciences Minors may be able to earn credit for integrating these UW Farm experiences with academic work.  Please see your public health adviser first to discuss details.

To apply for one of the UW Farm Public Health Internships: Send your resume & a letter of interest to with “Public Health Internship: <Your Name>” in the subject line.

Opportunity Title: Urban Agriculture and Community Public Health

Opportunity Title: K-5 Garden-based Education and Community Public Health Internship