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Pesticide Data Digitization Intern

Pesticide Data Digitization Intern
Part time: 20 hours/week for approximately 6 weeks

June 2022 through August 2022

Position will require frequent trips to the office of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources in Boston, but will otherwise be a remote position.

Application deadline: June 6, 2022

Opportunity:

The Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass) is seeking a summer intern to assist with the digitization of paper pesticide records for the State of Massachusetts from 2018 to the present, which will aid in advocacy work to reduce pesticide use in Massachusetts. The intern will scan and convert paper forms into spreadsheets, compiling data from many hundreds of documents. This will include data entry and validation of data converted using scanning technology with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Computer and smartphone fluency required, including Google Docs and camera-scanning. Work would take place during business hours at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources in Boston. Estimating approximately 240 hours of work to complete the project.

Background on this project:

The Department of Agricultural Resources has a statutory responsibility to reduce pesticides use in the Commonwealth. However, the current paper-based reporting system does not enable the calculation of any sort of baseline of pesticide use. Advocates have no way of know how much of what kinds of pesticides are being used when and where. We have heard multiple accounts of residents inquiring what they were exposed to, and being invited to pour through boxes of paper records.

While NOFA/Mass continues to advocate for the modernization of pesticide reporting (see H.4600, “An Act relative to pesticides” in the 2021-22 legislative session, details below*), we now have the opportunity to have an intern examine and digitize existing records.

*Please see our policy page regarding proposed legislation to modernize pesticide reporting in Massachusetts. As of May 19, 2022, H.4600 “An Act relative to pesticides,” filed by Rep. James Hawkins, is before the House Ways and Means Committee. We now have until the end of the legislative session (July 31, 2022) to push the bill to the floor for a full vote. Please contact your state representative and ask them to weigh in with the Chair of House Ways and Means in support of this commonsense measure.

Responsibilities:

Handle state records in an organized and responsible manner
Scan documents using a smartphone
Use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software and manual data entry to create digital versions of datasets
Compensation:

$16/hour based on experience.

More information and application available at https://www.nofamass.org/classifieds/6966/pesticide-data-digitization-intern/internships/

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