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Snapshot

Minimum GPA: 2.75

Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2021

Advisor:

Jessica Hawkey

Cornell Affiliations:

Agriculture and Life Sciences

Overview

Opportunity Description

Note: CALS Global Fellows internship opportunities will be remote for the summer 2021 experience. This is our second year of connecting our students globally, remotely. Students can anticipate a remote opportunity that engages them with partners abroad, while adding a unique experience to their resume. GFP remains focused on its mission of global connectivity. If you are unsure if a remote internship is the right fit for you, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with the CALS Global Fellows advisor prior to submitting an application.

The CALS Global Fellows Program supports CALS undergraduate students from any major in pursuit of challenging, professionally-focused summer internships and research placements that enhance and complement their career goals and academic progress, while enriching their undergraduate experience with diverse cultural and international immersion. Through key partnerships, the Global Fellows Program provides a platform for students to make positive and definable contributions to global organizations and communities.

Acceptance to the program is competitive and a limited number of students are selected each year. Selected Fellows receive a stipend to offset major expenses.

The program includes three required parts: a pre-engagement course the second half of Spring semester (ALS 2300 1 credit, S/U), a continuous 7-8 week internship or research placement in an international setting, and a post-engagement course in Fall semester (ALS 2301 1 credit, S/U).  

Suggested majors and/or professional interests: IARD, Development Sociology, Agriculture Sciences, Animal Sciences, Environment & Sustainability, Applied Economics and Management, and interests in food systems, markets, sustainability, crop and livestock production, education and more. 

Placement Opportunities

Placements: up to 3 placements

The mission of Manor House Agriculture Center is to provide smallholder farmers with practical training, research and extension services in ecological agriculture and agricultural enterprise development. Manor House has been an organic agriculture training center for the past 35 years. It is located in Trans Nzoia county Kenya, which lies on a 1800-2200 masl plateau between Mt Elgon and the Cheranganyi Hills. Daily temperatures are in the high 70’s and go down into the 50’s at night.

The school sits on 40+ acre compound. It is a secure and peaceful setting. The infrastructure includes classrooms, dormitories, kitchen and dining areas, admin block, assembly hall, church and staff houses. The grounds are spacious and include 4 fairly large organic gardens, a 10 acre organic farm and a large sport’s field where the county team holds their soccer matches. The farm and garden provide students with a healthy and diverse diet of organically produced foods.

When applying to Manor House, students should be detailed in what type of research and work they are interested in with Manor House. Every effort will be made to ensure that the selected student is assigned according to his/her preferred area of interests and skillset; however, Manor House may need to assign the student to a project that best meets the partner collaborator’s needs.

For reference, past placements have been in the following areas:

  • Deep Dive into Food Systems Issues in Northwest Kenya: Students research sustainable food and agricultural system issues in a town in north west Kenya. Cornell students worked alongside local students, and a diverse group of team mentors. Currently in Kenya, supermarkets have penetrated rural towns and are offering cash strapped customers cheap foods, and junk foods, produced far from the point of sale and with little regulation to protect consumers from food safety concerns. The hypothesis behind the assignment is that food safety and nutrition concerns may already be priming consumers interest in opting into/ supporting new models for accessing locally produced, safe and nutritious foods. 
    • Preferred Qualifications: Open minded, intellectually curious, gets along well with others and is able to live and work in a rural area. Some background / knowledge in agriculture and rural development, and/or experience with supporting local markets and businesses.
  • Module development for ag-related short courses: The Centre is shifting gears on its educational offerings. Previously, it has been offering certificates and Diplomas in Biointensive Agriculture. Now it will offer a series of modules that emphasize agroecological concepts, principles and practices, as well as modules related to facilitation skills (concepts, principles and practices of adult education). 
    • Preferred Qualifications: Could be ideal for students majoring in Ag Science, and/or in preparation for agricultural education MAT studies and a HS teaching career. Seeking motivated students to design and test out the content and structure of these offerings.
  • Developing strategies for improvement of livestock feeding practices and more effective integration of the MH livestock and crop production activities: In the past couple of years Manor House have greatly diversified the crops produced at the Centre. We now have a number of highly nutritious grain and forage legumes, traditional high value grains (finger millet) and pseudo-cereals (buckwheat, grain amaranth) that are being produced on farm. These have great potential to improve both human and animal diets. Livestock enterprises are a good income earning, provided you are able to constitute your own feeds. The Centre has chicken (layers and broilers), dairy cows and goats, and rabbits. Over the next one year we will be trying to substantially up our game for integrating livestock and crop enterprises to enhance nutrient cycling and other synergies.
    • Preferred Qualifications: Opportunity for an animal science student who could help Manor house plan and test various feed formulations. This could also be a very stimulating assignment for a student interested in agroecology or permaculture.
  • Explore systems approaches for organic residue management/nutrient recycling that prepares residue from crop production, human and livestock waste for safe application to agricultural land: Manor House is working to improve the energy, waste management and water systems at the school. Human waste is one of the major leakages from our system. There are significant cultural barriers in Kenya to the direct use of human waste. However, there are indirect uses that might be acceptable. They are interested in providing the materials to look into various options and investigate the possibilities of creating virtuous waste cycles, by, for example, using black soldier flies to turn human manure into high value poultry feed. The insect converts waste products in larval biomass. The diverted urine potentially could be acceptable as top dressing for livestock forage grasses.
    • Preferred qualifications: Interest in sustainability and waste management. Desire to explore the interesting social and technical aspects to this project.

About Kenya

Lining the coast of the Indian Ocean, Kenya offers a bounty of sights, including the savannah, lakelands, the mountain highlands, and the Great Rift Valley. The famous Mt. Kilimanjaro climbs to view from it's location in Tanzania. 75% of Kenyans make their living from agriculture, and 85% of those are small-scale farm holders. Kenya is notorious for heavy rains, but also has been struck by severe, year-long droughts. This climate calls for activities surrounding the protection of farm land, the rivers, and the people of Kenya.

 

We encourage you to apply to your first choice program only. There is a space within the application to indicate if you have a second choice. If you are interested in two opportunities that are very different from one another and would prefer to write two statements of purpose, you may upload both to the same application in ONE document. Make sure they are clearly titled with the correct placement opportunity IF you are writing two statements.  

You may preview the application without starting an application by clicking on the “preview application” button next to the apply button. All applications contain the same questions and all information related to the program can be found within the experience page. There is no additional information within the application.