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 a group or independent project that benefits the arboretum, and are supervised by the arboretum's professional staff. Compensation for the 2010 summer internships is approx. $11.91/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 visitors’ questions. Outdoor internships may involve heavy lifting and exposure to extreme heat and humidity.

Available Positions:

Azalea Collection:
Azalea Collection: The Azalea Collection is one of the older collections at the National Arboretum begun in the 1940ís. It includes two formal gardens, the Frederic P. Lee Garden and the Morrison Azalea Garden and over 30 acres of cultivated azaleas numbering in the thousands. In this internship, you will assist in the maintenance of the collection, including planting, weeding, watering, pruning, and propagation.

Dogwood Collection (10 Week Internship):
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.

The arboretum was founded as a place for researchers to develop and discover new 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. Projects could include plant propagation, molecular biology, pollinations, or plant evaluation, depending on candidatesí interests and experience. Assistance with plant maintenance in the greenhouse and field will also be expected on occasion. Location of position may be at the National Arboretum site in Washington, DC, or at worksites at the ARS facility in Beltsville, MD.

To apply:

Please send a cover letter, resume, transcripts, and a completed Supplemental Questionnaire via postal mail or email to:

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

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.

Summer Horticultural Internships
Part-Time Horticultural Internships
Full-Time Research Internships
Summer Public Education Internships
Internships page

If you need more information, have any questions or concerns, please contact us at:

     USNA Internship Coordinator
     US National Arboretum
     3501 New York Avenue, NE
     Washington, DC 20002
     (202) 245-4563
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.

Employment of Noncitizens In Non-Permanent Excepted Service Positions:
For information on the eligibility of noncitizens for temporary internships, see

EEO Policy Statement: 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   January 7, 2010 8:55 AM