US National Arboretum



Summer Horticulture Internships
3 months, full time, beginning in May or June

Interns are assigned to a particular area within the arboretum. All participate in regularly scheduled educational programs and field trips, work on independent projects that benefit the arboretum, and are supervised by the arboretum's professional staff. Compensation for the 2008 summer internships is approx. $10.94/hr. The work week for most interns is Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. College credit may be arranged by the student and is encouraged.

Applicants need to have either completed course work or have acquired practical experience in horticulture or a related field. Basic gardening or laboratory skills, interest in plants, and the ability to work independently are very important.

Duties & Working Conditions
Interns will be responsible for the standard duties of working in a public garden. Examples include assisting in all aspects of garden maintenance and development, including greenhouse work, potted plant maintenance, propagation, planting, watering, weeding, mowing, and pest management. Interns will also assist with the accurate labeling of plants and answering visitorsí questions. Outdoor internships may involve heavy lifting and exposure to extreme heat and humidity.

Available Positions: Have all been filled

Dogwood Collection: The Dogwood collection features more than 100 exceptional varieties and species of Cornus in a naturalistic setting. In this internship, you will assist in all aspects of garden maintenance and development, including watering, weeding, planting, and fertilizing.

Conifer Collection: The conifer collection, including the Gotelli Dwarf and Slow-Growing Conifer Collection and the Watnong Collection of Dwarf Pines, comprises approximately twenty acres of manicured gardens. In this internship, you will assist in the maintenance of the collection, including planting, weeding, watering, pruning, and propagation.

Native Plant Collection: The Fern Valley Native Plant Collection features several habitats of the Eastern United States and comprises seven acres of natural woodland and meadow. In this internship, you will assist in the maintenance of the collection, including planting, weeding, watering, pruning, and propagation. Interest in North American native plants is useful.

Introduction Garden: The plantings around the Administration Building include many cultivars that the US National Arboretum has introduced to the nursery trade. This area is also meant to serve as an area to display new plants to the public. This garden is intensely planted with annuals and tropicals, both in the ground and in containers. It also includes a water feature with a large collection of aquatic plants. In this internship, you will assist in with the installation of the annual display and with the maintenance of the area, including weeding, watering, and pruning.

Flowering Tree Walk: Recently installed, the Flowering Tree Walk is the arboretumís newest feature. It is the first phase in an eventual plan to link several of the arboretumís collections with a pedestrian walkway. New to the collection are one hundred trees of all different varieties. In this internship, you will assist with the establishment of these new trees by watering, weeding, pruning, and tracking their progress.

Biofuels Exhibit: In June 2008, the arboretum will open an exhibit on biofuels. The exhibit will display a wide range of plants used to make fuel. In this internship, you will assist with the installation and maintenance of the plants in the display, maintain the general area, and assist with the interpretive materials.

Shrub Breeding: The arboretum was founded as a place for researchers to breed new and improve upon existing, landscape plants. The development of plants for the American public is still an integral part of the arboretumís mission and is conducted by the Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit. In this internship, you will assist with the ongoing research. Most of your time is spent in the lab, but there may be instances where you are in the greenhouse or field caring for the existing stock.

To apply:

To apply for a summer internship, please send a cover letter, resume, transcripts,
and a completed Supplemental Questionnaire to:

     Internship Office
     US National Arboretum
     3501 New York Avenue, NE
     Washington, DC 20002

Click here to download the supplemental questionnaire.

There is no deadline. However, supervisors will begin to look over applications by the end of February. To receive first consideration, please apply by February 1st.

To learn more about the other various types of internships, requirements, and how you may apply,
please click on the links provided below.

Research Internships
Summer Horticultural Internships
Part-Time Horticultural Internships
Marketing Internship
Year-Long Internship
Internship page

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Internship Coordinator:
(202) 245-4563 or

Optional Form 306, (Declaration for Federal Employment): If you are selected for any of these positions, you will be required to complete this form before an offer may be made.

Selective Service System:
Males over age 18 who were born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for Federal employment.

EEO Policy Statemnt: The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.

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Last Updated   April 28, 2008 3:57 PM

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