Meet Skidmore Intern Nicole Barry

This summer we have the pleasure of welcoming Skidmore College soon-to-be-senior Nicole Barry to the Pitney Meadows team. As an extension of her work as an Anthropology major/Environmental Science minor, and as a passionate student of food justice issues, Nicole will be researching the relationship between farms and food pantries, especially during the time of Covid-19. Our work to supply food to the local food pantries will be a focus of her research, which will include demographic and usage information that will help us better understand and continue to improve this important work.

Doing research in the field has already been a large part of Nicole’s education. The Vermonter, who is doing her internship remotely due to the health crisis, has done volunteer stints in environmental conservation projects in Honduras, Madagascar, and Ecuador. She was midway through a semester in Pacific Samoa concerning the effect of climate change on farming and local foodways when Covid-19 hit and she was called back to the U.S.

Her interest in food justice and sovereignty was sparked, she says, by a Politics of Food class she took with Professor Nurcan Atalan-Helicke, who is currently head of Skidmore’s Environmental Studies and Sciences Department. “Food is a human right, but it is commodified. So I began to examine the ways it can be decommodified. That led me to my first project last year with Pitney Meadows and the farm’s initiatives, which is an alternative to traditional food commerce. So in exploring internships for this year, I wanted to return to take that work further.”

We’ll be sharing Nicole’s insights with you as her work progresses. Meanwhile, we’re grateful to have her with us.

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