Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Cambia Community Living Systems Exploratorium Intern

Co-op / Organization: 
Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Cambia Community
Louisa, VA
Type of Organization: 
Agricultural; Arts & Culture; Educational; Housing; Worker; Association/Federation
Brief Description of Organization: 
The Federation is a North American association of egalitarian income-sharing communities practicing sustainable, non-violent and non-hierarchical ways of life.
Cambia is a young (1.5 years) income-sharing community within the Federation of Egalitarian Communities. Our mission is to co-create a culture of trust, mutual support and play among ourselves, and a culture of respect, deep reverence for nature, and material minimalism in the way we live with the land. We are currently working to create a collectively held business, called the Living Systems Exploratorium, which will be a permaculture and sustainable technology museum offering educational programs on alternative living, especially for children. Our mission in creating the LSE is to frame society's current ecological crisis in terms of our individual lifestyle choices, to showcase ecologically sustainable small-scale technologies and practices, and to invite visitors to ask questions about what choices they are making in their own lifestyle.
Number of Members: 
Dress Code: 
Position Title: 
Living Systems Exploratorium Intern
Position Duties: 

This position requires full participation in the Cambia Community, with 36 hours of labor a week.

The Living Systems Exploratorium is a sustainable living museum and education center under development in Louisa, Virginia at Cambia community. The exploratorium will feature models and real life examples of biological sustainability and appropriate technology. The Living Systems Exploratorium’s purpose is to provide engaging and tangible educational tools for understanding the difference between closed loop (regenerative) and broken loop (depleting) living systems. 
The intern's role is to collaborate with us in designing, building and acquiring ecological technologies to showcase at the Living Systems Exploratorium.
To build /acquire/commission/assemble tangible models of natural resource use, in both natural and human-made systems.
  • solar oven
  • solar hot water heater
  • wind electricity generator
  • potential energy battery (for example, by lifting water)
  • pond aerator
  • composting systems making use of black soldier flies
  • sand filter for drinking water
  • small scale photovoltaic system
  • passive refrigerator
  • well water heat exchanger
  • biogas generator
  • pedal-powered bench tools such as a drill press and bandsaw.
  • pedal powered washing machine

To develop relationships with engineering and environmental science departments at nearby universities, so that in the future we may offer similar appropriate technology internships to their students, and cooperate with students and faculty in the development of new technologies for the Living Systems Exploratorium.

In addition, the intern will participate in daily life at Cambia, which includes room and board (perhaps camping outside in summer). This includes participation in community meals and activities, and may include some domestic tasks, such as cooking, cleaning and childcare.
Position Training: 
The intern will work closely with the members of Cambia Community, who have preliminary plans for some models, and who have established relationships with some faculty at nearby universities. We will co-design models with the intern, and assist them in conducting research for models and when there are blocks designing models. We will also offer our guidance as the intern corresponds with university faculty and staff.
Skills Development & Learning: 
The intern will have the opportunity to build engineering design and construction skills, through actively engaging in these processes as we create and procure appropriate technology. The intern will have the opportunity to develop skills designing artistic and functional models demonstrating human activity and biological processes, by actively engaging in creating models with the members of Cambia. This will also be an opportunity to develop communication and coordination skills while collaborating with faculty and staff at nearby universities, and when delegating tasks as we build these various technologies.
Other details of working conditions: 
Interns may be asked to camp outside in the summer months. This is to be determined and negotiable.
Compensation ($): 
$60, paid monthly
is Room Included for members?: 
Working Hours: 
6 hours daily (except Sundays), broken up by shared meals and breaks
Total Hours of Work Per Week: 
36 hours/wk combined internship and domestic work