Hunnewell Horticultural Internships
Location: Boston, MA
Isabella Welles Hunnewell Horticultural Internship Program
Internship Opportunities in Arboriculture, Curation, Horticulture, & Plant Production
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 (8) internship positions for summer 2022. All positions are full-time (40 hours/week) at a rate of $18 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 should 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, entering archival data to curatorial databases, and generating reports and/or maps for visiting researchers. 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
For more information and to apply please visit (apply by February 6th, 2022):
We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the lifting of restrictions. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. We will be conducting interviews virtually for selected candidates until further notice.
Harvard University requires COVID-19 vaccination for all Harvard community members who have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: http://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-information/.
We are an equal opportunity employer, all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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