Student Opportunities

For general information about Arboretum internships,
click here.

Sustainable Horticulture Interns

Interns will learn a variety of horticultural skills as they help maintain the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. Working directly with horticultural staff, interns will gain experience identifying and caring for a wide variety of plants in the Arboretum and on campus. Training will include pruning, deadheading perennials, controlling weeds, monitoring garden pests and diseases, building and establishing new gardens, and basic garden management. Each intern will also be responsible for an independent project related to monitoring, research, or garden interpretation.
Schedule: Sustainable Horticulture Interns commit to 3-9 hours/week. Each garden shift is approximately three hours. The Sustainable Horticulture Internship is offered in fall quarter.
Units: 1-3 units
Contact Information: Ryan Deering, GATEways Horticulturist,

Plant Propagation and Nursery Interns

Work with professional Arboretum nursery and plant sales staff to gain hands-on experience working in a nursery. Interns will learn methods for propagating a great variety of plants, many of which are unusual in cultivation. Interns are encouraged to choose the plants they work with and will gain experience in a range of nursery tasks, including irrigation, pruning, repotting, and IPM/pest control. Interns will also participate in Arboretum plant sales in order to gain experience with nursery events.
Schedule: Arboretum Nursery Interns commit to 3-9 hours/week. Each shift is approximately three hours. Takes place year-round.
Units: 1-3 units
Contact Information: Lisa Chaffee, Plant Propagation Specialist, (916) 204-8209,

GIS Collections Mapping Interns

GIS interns work with the professional staff of the Arboretum to survey locations of plants, amenities, hardscape, and utilities of the UC Davis Arboretum. Interns learn ArcGIS software, how to identify both common and unusual plants by botanical name, collect location information using professional GPS, and document botanical information using Windows Mobile-based handheld devices and iPads. The internship provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain botanical, horticultural, and technical (GIS, GPS, and Database) knowledge that can be applied in numerous fields of employment. Prerequisite: Introductory course in GIS (e.g. Landscape Architecture 150 or Science and Society 18 or equivalent). Two quarter minimum internship commitment.
Schedule: Arboretum GIS Collections Mapping Interns commit to 3-9 hours/week. Starts in winter quarter.
Units: 1-3
Contact Information: Mia Ingolia, Curator, 530-754-8219,

Naturalist Interns [Note: this program is on hiatus until further notice]

Lead elementary-aged children on school field trips throughout the Arboretum. Interns learn about the local environment, Native American uses of plants, and California native plants. Interns receive extensive training in outdoor education techniques and strategies and creative teaching approaches for children, and work with a team of other interns and community volunteers.
Schedule: Arboretum Naturalist Interns commit for three quarters beginning in fall or winter quarter. Interns give 1 tour/week during the fall and spring tour season. Tours take place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9:00-12:00. Education training takes place on 1-3 days right before the fall quarter and on Thursday mornings, 9:00-12:00 during winter quarter. There are no summer requirements.

Arboretum Ambassador Interns

Gain skills in informal education techniques, environmental leadership, event support, public outreach, volunteer coordination, and museum and non-profit management. Interns will work closely with Arboretum career and student staff to support existing programs and initiatives in our family nature program, arts program, plant sales, fundraising events and community gardening volunteer days. Ambassadors also have an opportunity to engage K-12 students and the wider community in themed events that they create with other environmental clubs and partners on campus. Click for a brochure with more information.
Schedule: Ambassador Interns commit for three quarters beginning in fall quarter of each year. There are weekly meetings as well as 3-4 events per quarter either during the evenings or weekends. The application period for the following school year is in April.
Units: 1-3 units

Click for an application for the 2012-13 academic year.
Contact Information: Elaine Fingerett, Academic Coordinator, 530-754-5686,