The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a 281-acre museum of trees teaching the world about plants. With one of the world's most biodiverse collections of temperate woody plants, combined with world-class scientific resources, and a commitment to diverse programming, the Arnold Arboretum has been a leader in horticulture since its founding in 1872. As part of the Boston Parks system, it is free and open to all daily; we host three to four million visitors each year.
The Arnold Arboretum 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 late-May through early-August). The Arboretum seeks a dynamic and diverse group of individuals to fill nine (9) internship positions for summer 2024. All positions are full-time (40 hours/week) at a rate of $20 per hour.
Internships are available with the following concentrations:
Horticulture and Landscape Maintenance
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.
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.
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.
Arboriculture (Climbing Arborist)
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, 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.
For more information and how to apply, find our webpage at:
Deadline: February 4th, 2024