The UW Farm strives to build and strengthen connections between our growing spaces and academics on campus. We offer many education opportunities including Environmental Studies capstone internships, Environmental Science capstone internships, Biology internship credits, Environmental Science internship credits, and Public Health internship credits.

sowing seeds

Research, Capstone, and Projects at the UW Farm

The UW Farm hosts and supports research and projects related to a variety of topics related to sustainable agriculture. Projects have included topics such as composting techniques, effects of various tilling methods, use of native plants to encourage beneficial insects, pest and disease control, and seed saving techniques. We particularly encourage projects and research that provide concrete benefits to both the UW Farm and the student.

Students should propose research or hands-on projects as capstone projects or independent studies with supervision from their faculty advisor.  Graduate students are also welcome to conduct research on the farm as part of their thesis research or masters project.

In addition to a project or research, UW Farm interns are required to do 10 hours of farm work per week with the farm’s crew and volunteers.


Students interested in conducting research at the UW Farm should submit a proposal to the farm manager ( ). Proposals should be submitted by the sixth week of the quarter before the proposed research would begin.  Applicants are encouraged to discuss the project of interest with the farm manager before submitting a proposal.

The proposal should include the following:

  • One page describing the proposed project: problem, methods, expected outcome(s), including relevant literature
  • One page summarizing:
    • Relevance and potential benefits to the farm
    • Cost / funding needs and (if applicable) potential funding sources
    • Space requirement and availability
    • How the project will satisfy capstone, credit, or other requirements for the student researcher

The farm manager will review and send acceptable proposals to the UW Farm research committee.  The research committee will review proposals and respond to the student researcher by the beginning of the 8th week of each quarter.

Student researchers must submit a .pdf of the final report to be archived.

Farm Course Offerings

Biology 486 Agroecology Seminar

In this weekly seminar, participants will read and discuss articles covering various aspects of agroecology. Articles will be drawn primarily from peer-reviewed academic literature but may also include book chapters, farming manuals, and extension services.

The Agroecology Seminar has been added to the winter time schedule as Bio 486, accessible via add codes with no pre-reqs.

Although it says “senior seminar”, that is just a placeholder denoting that students must read and discuss at responsible academic level!

If you would like to register, please email Jennifer Ruesink <>, so that she can start a list for add codes.

Note that the course is scheduled for 4:30-5:30 on Mondays, but only so that it doesn’t overlap with other courses, and that timing can change according to participants.

Biology 399 Internship

The Biology department offers Internship Credits under BIOL 399. Professor Jennifer Ruesink advises most BIOL 399 interns. Coordinating with the Farm Manager, students can explore a project they are interested in or a research question they want to explore on one of the Student Farm’s two sites. Some previous BIOL 399 projects include:

  • Building a compost system at the farm at the Center for Urban Horticulture
  • Exploring the Microbiology and Science Behind composting
  • Achieving Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification for the UW Student Farm
  • Building a Vermicompost System at the farm at the Center for Urban Horticulture.
  • Building an herb spiral at the farm at the Center for Urban Horticulture.
  • Installing perennial fruits at the Center for Urban Horticulture

farmers talkingBio399 is not a class, but is a way to give credit for an internship that you are already doing. To apply for Bio399 credits, write to the Biology Instructional Manager (currently Ben Wiggins at You’ll receive a signup form that will require the signature of your supervisor in the internship. When you return that form to Ben via email, you’ll receive an add code for the course. You can receive one credit for 3 hours of work per week for an entire quarter. You may want to check with your advisors to see how many credits would actually be useful for you before registering.

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