Farmworker Health at UC Berkeley

Exposure to pesticides has been linked with a range of adverse health outcomes for pregnant individuals and their children. Studies have also documented higher levels of pesticide exposure among farmworkers compared to the general public. It is thus pivotal to minimize pesticide exposure among farmworkers during critical periods such as pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Medical providers are uniquely situated to provide recommendations to reduce pesticide exposure or support work accommodations and/or disability leave during pregnancy. However, previous work suggests that many medical providers lack appropriate data to inform recommendations or actions to protect farmworkers from pesticides during the perinatal period. The goals of this project are to 1) survey medical providers on what guidance or work accommodations they provide to pregnant and breastfeeding farmworkers to mitigate pesticide exposure; 2) assess levels of exposure to pesticides among pregnant farmworkers; and 3) develop educational materials for medical providers to counsel farmworkers on exposure reduction recommendations and work restrictions during the perinatal period. This project will address critical data gaps regarding medical providers’ knowledge and practices regarding pesticide exposure during pregnancy and will provide evidence-based recommendations to better protect pregnant and breastfeeding farmworkers from potentially hazardous pesticides.

Tasks intern will work on: The intern will work with Dr. Carly Hyland's research team to recruit farmworkers, schedule study visits, administer surveys to farmworkers in Spanish, collect and transport urine samples back to a laboratory in Richmond/Berkeley area to later be analyzed for pesticide concentrations.

Category: Academic

Skills required: 

  • Fluent in Spanish
  • Ideally have experience in environmental health and/or epidemiology, but not required.

Location: In-person in Berkeley, CA or can be remote if at UC Santa Barbara due to fieldwork in Santa Barbara County. The Center for Gender and Health Justice will offer housing for 6 weeks in Santa Barbara if the student intern does not live in Berkeley or Santa Barbara.

Language competency: Bilingual in Spanish

Internship time frame: Summer 2024, 12 weeks

Hours per week: 20-40 hours per week

Financial support: $1,000 stipend from the Center for Gender and Health Justice. The Principal Investigator of this project will provide additional financial support for hours the student works beyond what is covered by the CGHJ stipend.

Organization contact: Carly Hyland, PhD, MS

Faculty liaison: Melissa Smith, MD

The deadline for applications is January 21, 2024 at 11:59 PM.

Apply here!