The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University offers paid internships in collections management with concentrations in arboriculture, collections curation, horticulture and landscape maintenance, or plant production. Experiences integrate hands-on training with educational classes and visits to other botanical institutions. Interns are accepted for 12- to 14-week appointments (typically May through August). The Arboretum seeks a dynamic and diverse group of individuals to fill eight (9) internship positions for summer 2023. All positions are full-time (40 hours/week) at a rate of $19 per hour.
To learn more about the Arnold Arboretum, please visit: www.arboretum.harvard.edu
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
As part of the training program, interns work alongside professional staff in their host department and participate in instructional sessions across disciplines to develop a comprehensive sense of the Arboretum’s collections management practices. Field trips to other public gardens are offered throughout the summer to expose interns to the broader field of public horticulture and provide networking opportunities with professional staff at these institutions. As members of the Arboretum community, interns are encouraged to share their experience and knowledge, and to participate fully in the work of the institution. As a capstone project, interns work as a group to address a real collections management issue and present their proposal to their peers and Arboretum staff.
The arboriculture-focused experience is for those applicants exploring a career path as a climbing arborist. Interns spend their time working alongside the Arboretum’s arborists as they rotate through the collections evaluating plant health and assessing and executing the unique pruning needs of each specimen. This team works on large-scale plant removals, tree hazard assessments and corrective pruning measures, integrated pest management (IPM) practices, and other tasks as needed as part of the full horticultural operation. Applicants must have some experience in urban forestry or arboriculture and a basic working knowledge of aerial tree care, i.e., climbing and lifts.
The Curatorial Department administers record keeping and documentation projects for all living and legacy plant collections, directs acquisition and collection development initiatives, and facilitates the use of the collection by scholars. Of central importance is the annual inventory or field checking of the nursery and roughly a fifth of the living collections. The curatorial intern spends the bulk of their time assisting staff in inventorying the living collections, which includes plant health assessments, mapping, and labeling. Additionally, time is spent collecting voucher herbarium specimens representing Arboretum accessions, sorting herbarium specimens in the Herbarium of Cultivated Plants, and entering archival data to curatorial databases. Interns will receive considerable training in BG-BASE (collections management software). Applicants are expected to have strong woody plant identification skills.
Horticulture and Landscape Maintenance Interns
Working with the horticulture staff, summer interns weed, mulch, mow, plant, prune, scout and monitor plant pests and diseases, operate a wide range of maintenance equipment, and perform other associated tasks as part of caring for the Arboretum’s 281 acres. All interns rotate through various collections and gardens within the landscape, obtaining experience with diverse types of plant material, as well as getting opportunities to learn from many horticulture staff members. In addition, each intern will spend time with the arborist crew, focusing on pruning skills, chainsaw use, and tree climbing. Applicants should have some experience in landscape maintenance and an interest in exploring career paths in public horticulture.
Plant Production Interns
Staff members at the Dana Greenhouses and Nursery propagate and grow all the plant material that is eventually planted into the permanent collections of the Arboretum. Interns are introduced to the nursery and greenhouse production cycle and assist in watering, weeding, mulching, potting, and other jobs as required. The work varies from physical labor to technical work, with emphasis on proper growing methods. This internship also gives an overview of our accessioning and plant inventory process, including an introduction to BG-BASE (collections management software). Applicants should have some experience in plant propagation and/or greenhouse operations.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
This organization is committed to diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all qualified candidates. Interns selected for the Isabella Welles Hunnewell Internship Program are expected to participate fully in the work-life of the institution with maturity, punctuality, curiosity, and a commitment to learning. Preference will be given to candidates who have at least some of the following qualifications:
- One or more years of education in horticulture, botany, landscape design, or other plant-related fields at a college or university
- Work experience in a nursery, greenhouse, garden center, park, arboretum, or botanical garden
- Career aspirations in public horticulture, botany, or another plant-related field
- Must have physical health and stamina to work in all weather conditions and to maintain a high level of productivity
- Maturity, self-motivation, and willingness to work as part of a team
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse communities and cultures
Apply by February 1st, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants are encouraged to apply early. For more information and to apply please visit: http://arboretum.harvard.edu/about/jobs-and-opportunities/isabella-welles-hunnewell-internship-program/
All Harvard community members must comply with the University’s health and safety guidelines and protocols, including but not limited to those related to COVID-19, such as testing, masking, distancing, etc. Additionally, the University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, and report their vaccination status via the Harvard University Health Services portal, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements. You may claim exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Note that unvaccinated individuals are subject to additional public health measures (e.g., more frequent testing, more stringent masking, etc.) above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exemptions is available on the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: http://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-information/.
What Makes the Arboretum Special?
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is the oldest public Arboretum in North America and one of the world's leading centers for the study of plants. Founded in 1872 and designed by America's first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Arboretum's first director, Charles Sprague Sargent, the 281-acre Arboretum is a historic landmark and one of the best-preserved of Olmsted's landscapes. A unique blend of beloved public landscape and respected research institution, the Arboretum provides and supports world-class research, horticulture, and education programs that foster the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of woody plants. Along with a horticultural library and herbarium encompassing some 1.5 million dried plant specimens, the Arboretum comprises one of the largest and best-documented woody plant collections in the world, with roughly 16,000 accessioned plants. To learn more about the Arnold Arboretum, please visit www.arboretum.harvard.edu.
The Arnold Arboretum views diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a culture where everyone can thrive. Our community is made of individuals who draw from a dynamic range of backgrounds to contribute to the pursuit of our common goals. The work and well-being of the Arnold Arboretum are strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, age, ability, political views, veteran status, and more. We actively seek and welcome people of color, women, persons with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTQIA, and those who are at the intersections of these identities, from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods to join us. Together, we strive to create an environment that values diversity, promotes an inclusive culture, and establishes a profound sense of belonging for each member of our community.