At Rustling Roots we offer several internships for university students in specific academic areas. some of our internship projects are within our expertise and therefore come with a fair bit of mentorship and guidance, while others are far outside our expertise and consequently require more initiative and direction from the interns.

Our overall mission with the internship program is to support research and development in the areas that we perceive as relevant to a future scant in material and energy inputs, but rich in connections and life satisfaction.

Our vision is based in principles of permaculture, where diversity, complexity, symbiosis and efficiency are both instrumental and apriori values to a better future.

Appropriate technology
We seek to develop simple, affordable, and efficient technology to support disconnection from the central grid while enabling a wide range of applications. Here is a list of current and planned projects:
1. virtual fencing: managing livestock on a small scale without the use of fencing
2. non-chemical energy storage such as thermal or mechanical
3. higher voltage DC electricity appliances
4. smart load management to minimize peak demand
5. creating small electric vehicles for transportation, forestry, and agricultural applications
6. developing small scale direct solar technology to perform tasks typically reserved for large expensive equipment such as pond digging, well drilling, and ground leveling.

Social Science
We ask one simple question: what does it take for people to accept a change towards a more sustainable future? This question could be addressed from many disciplines or paradigms. We start with some basic questions:
1. what kind of world do people want to live in? how much do we vary? do we have enough imagination to think of a different world? how much time do we spend thinking of it? and how do we feel about different ideas of what the world could become?
2. what do we think of as the main problems facing our world today? where is the main injustice? what do we attribute those to? do we blame human nature or do we believe in it? how open are we to a different story? how much do we care and how does context and framing affect our perception?
3. do we feel empowered to make a change for the better? do we feel like its our job to change this world? and if not who’s is it?
4. are there economic or game-theoretic aspects that can better explain the tragedies of our time, or are there specific cultural factors that stand behind them?
5. how much of these cultural factors lie in the “story of separation” so ubiquitous in our society?
6. are love and greed easily dissociable? how much do they matter to the kind of world we are creating?
7. in past and current utopian experiments: how well do people do? how much do they achieve their ideals? and why are they so uncommon?

Art / Museum Models
Since the development of copying and mass distribution, art has suffered a massive drop in the number of people who engage in its creation, and yet art is one of the areas where the ratio of percent of people who wish they could devote their lives to it, and those who actually make a living from it, might be the highest of all.
Here at Rustling Roots we offer several internships both in creating mechanical representations in our sustainable living museum, and producing conceptual depictions of people’s relationships to nature.
Project ideas include:
1. creating a mechanical display of the ratio between inputs and outputs of various agricultural products such as animal proteins, sugar, topsoil loss, etc.
2. creating a mechanical representation of a web of interdependence within an ecological system displaying both its resilience and susceptibility to catastrophic collapse.
3. creating a living biological model of oxygen and CO2 within a closed system
4. constructing art that gets completed by living or weathering forces
5. making a poetry walk in the forest with poems depicting the experience of nature written on natural surfaces