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Air and Water Quality Research Intern

This internship is geared for individuals interested in developing and expanding their knowledge in research and planning at an innovative global organization. Interns will have an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of air and water quality on individual’s health and well-being. Interns will also support a project where citizen scientists gather, analyze and share open source data collected through this project, to identify and address air and water pollution in their community.

The project is jointly proposed by partner organizations MAKAIA (based in Medellín, Colombia), which developed and runs the Medellín pilot, and TechSoup/Caravan Studios (based in San Francisco, USA), which has an international partner network and technology distribution channel that can enable replication around the globe.

The main goals of the air and water quality project are to:

  • Use sensors to measure air quality in local communities so real-time data is available and make citizens key to the installation, operation, and maintenance of those sensors;
  • Equip citizens with skills to extract the data, and perform data analysis and data visualizations; and
  • Provide support for “community anchor institutions” (local organizations like libraries or community ICT centers, whose objective it is to provide access to information) to make this information accessible to communities.

The project will result in new actionable community-driven datasets, as well as community-driven data analysis and data visualizations to impact policies and practices.


  • Researching area where organizations and communities have citizen scientists working in the areas of air or water quality.
  • Explore model community led projects and case studies where software and data licensing allowed citizens to access data and use software to drive change in their communities.
  • Follow-up on active community projects and the impact of that data.
  • Assist with the preparation of project-related reports, manuscripts, appendices and presentations.
  • Produce tables, graphs, fact sheets, maps, and written reports summarizing research results.
  • Explore water quality project and develop case studies.
  • Identifying resources for registering projects globally.
  • Explore do-it-yourself sensors to identify how they work and what they cost.


Planning work will focus on the recruitment, communication, and support of the communities who will be using our tools and services. Examples for tasks and assignment include:

  • Outline the principles of a model project based on what you have learned.
  • Communicate with and engage the community through social media channels and campaigns.
  • Based on findings create an estimated budget for launching a pilot in regional location. 


  • Excellent writing, analytical, communication, and research skills.
  • Detail oriented and highly organized.
  • Ability to meet deadlines, work collaboratively, and manage several projects at once.
  • Excellent telephone and email communication skills.
  • Ability to represent Caravan Studios and TechSoup in a professional manner.


  • 32 hours per week during the summer; exact weekly schedule to be defined with intern.
  • In the Caravan Studios office (San Francisco) at least 2-3 days per week. Depending on the intern, some of this work can be accomplished remotely.
  • Minimum 3-month commitment. 


  • Gain hands-on experience in program development and implementation at a small innovative nonprofit organization.
  • Develop portfolio examples to share with future employers.
  • Access to extensive national nonprofit and technologist network.
  • Develop community engagement skills.
  • Access to innovative ideas and products.

Start Date: June 

Salary: This is an unpaid internship, but college credit may be available.

To Apply: Submit cover letter and resume to Mary Duffy, Director of Educational Programs, Caravan Studios.

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