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Student Opportunities


Do you love gardening, building things, or want to spend some time relaxing in a greenhouse? SARC volunteers learn about how the aquaponics system works, and typically visit 1-2 hrs per week, within designated hours. The curator trains all new volunteers on the tasks that need to be done, which can include: trimming flowers on plants, harvesting & maintaining crops, cleaning rafts, painting, helping with building & repair projects, and many other everyday tasks. Contact the SARC curator for more information on volunteer opportunities.

male intern manages pests on lettuce
No, lettuce is NOT supposed to look lumpy and yellow like that. – Thanks Nhein!

I enjoy being in the greenhouse, caring for the plants. It is very relaxing! I grew so much and became more active and comfortable with learning to listen to and respect people’s differences.

– Nhien L., joined summer 2018


Internships are a more structured opportunity for students to work at SARC, either for course credit (1-3 per semester, maximum of 3 new curriculum / 9 old curriculum) or simply for the experience. As a benefit, potential employers and program advisors see the results of your dedication! Scheduling is typically flexible once you are trained on the tasks. In order to work with the aquaculture portion of the system, such as feeding & monitoring the fish, interested interns complete additional training on an as-needed basis. Interns often return to SARC several semesters in a row, or move on to become researchers or employees. Contact the SARC curator for more information on internship opportunities.

I was really happy to take on the black soldier flies and composting, as the creative-engineering side in biology is what interests me.

– Luca d’A., joined Fall 2019


Research students work directly with a faculty member and the SARC curator to learn about the system and conduct a small-scale research project over the course of one or more semesters. Research students can be paid employees or working for course credit (1-3 per semester, maximum of 6). Depending on the topic of study, research student duties will include a range of tasks at the SARC facility, such as feeding fish, cleaning tanks, monitoring plants, etc. Contact the SARC senior scientist or other faculty members for more information on research opportunities.

Notes are essential for research and for routinely tracking production. – Thanks Michelle!

My SARC research helped me secure multiple internships with potential employers that otherwise would have not been available to me, and let me solidify my passion for biology as a viable career choice.

– Olivia R., joined Spring 2017


Student employees are often in the greenhouse the most of any of the student workers, typically 8-20 hours per week, depending on their mode of employment. SARC employs both traditional and Federal College Work-Study employees, which learn more extensive skills regarding system care & maintenance, fish handling, troubleshooting, etc. They are often students with previous experience in aquaculture or gardening, or former interns/researchers/volunteers at SARC, and complete additional training. Contact the SARC curator or senior scientist for more information on employment.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that are important, like clean filters! – Thanks Alex!

I love plants and gardening; working here has taught me a new, sustainable farming method and many ways I can help plants thrive. I also love being able to encourage others to grow their own food using aquaponics!

– Kestra M., joined Fall 2018

Potential Learning Outcomes from SARC Experience

I love being able to provide our campus community with our sustainable farm-grown produce, and I have always wanted to work with aquatic life.

– Alex Q. joined Fall 2019

General: Maintain laboratory and greenhouse systems; employ appropriate techniques to facilitate rigorous scientific experimentation & replication using independent systems; monitoring environmental and water quality parameters; techniques for harvesting produce for sale

Hydroponics: Basic plant care and maintenance for optimal biomass production; planting seeds and transplanting seedlings according to seasonal planting guides; monitoring plants for pathogens, pests, nutritional deficiencies; organically treat plants for pathogens and pests; maintain nutrient supplementation regimes

Aquaculture: Basic fish husbandry and maintenance for healthy, optimal biomass production; adjust and maintain appropriate water quality; monitor fish biological parameters; rearing and enhancing the growth of fish eggs and fry; monitor fish for symptoms of disease and stress; assist with treating fish for disease

Marketing: Develop and update marketing materials; Enhance and build marketing of SARC food; Enhance and expand SARC website; Update relevant news and staff information regarding aquaponics and SARC; Expand online presence and visibility via social media and student organizations

Last updated: 6/23/2021