Ornamental Prunus Internship 2021

The Ornamental Prunus Initiative intern will work under the supervision of the National Arboretum’s curators and horticultural staff. An internship project, which is presented to staff, volunteers, and stakeholders at the end of the internship, is required. In addition, interns participate in professional development opportunities and educational field trips.



January 15, 2021 through July 15, 2021


The intern will support the Arboretum’s new Ornamental Prunus Initiative, by which the Arboretum aims to both expand its Prunus holdings and conserve existing Prunus germplasm as well as increase public appreciation of the diversity available in ornamental Prunus. Over the course of six months, the Initiative will increase participants’ knowledge of the latest technology related to breeding and selection, propagation, culture, use in landscape design, and pest and disease control, culminating in a three-day educational event.


Applicants need to have either completed course work or have acquired practical experience in horticulture or a related field. Basic gardening skills, interest in plants, and the ability to work independently are essential. Experience organizing events and developing marketing materials is preferred.

Duties & Working Conditions

The intern will be responsible for the typical duties of working in a public garden by assisting staff in the development and maintenance of the Prunus germplasm collection. Duties include pruning, watering, mulching, and weeding. The intern will also assist with updating records and labels in the collection, as well as with developing brochures, interpretive panels, and website content that support the Initiative. Work will require heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, and exposure to inclement weather, including heat, cold, and precipitation.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter stating your educational goals and horticulture interests, resume, references, and transcripts (unofficial are acceptable) via email to USNA.Internships@ars.usda.gov.

Questions? Contact the internship office at (202) 245-4563 or USNA.Internships@ars.usda.gov.