The UC Davis Arboretum provides an ideal training ground to learn real-world skills toward creating a healthier environment and a more sustainable world. Our professional staff work closely with about 50 UC Davis undergraduate and graduate student interns per year in all areas of our public gardens operations. Many of our professional staff began their careers with internships at the Arboretum and, as former interns, are keenly aware of the productive, collaborative, and creative work that results from training and working with interns as true partners. Many of our interns have gone on to satisfying and productive professional work in public garden management, sustainable design, nursery management, natural areas management, outdoor education, leadership, research, horticulture, biological monitoring, and other related work in California and throughout the United States.

Some Arboretum internships require participation in a training and orientation program; others may be developed more informally with the professional horticultural, curatorial, educational and other staff as time allows. The Arboretum staff work closely with academic units on campus (departments vary according to internship) to ensure that students have a faculty sponsor and receive units for their work at the UC Davis Arboretum.

For a list of internship opportunities, click here.

Additional internship benefits include:

  • Learning about Central Valley gardening, drought-tolerant landscaping, California native plants, and best practices in horticulture, plant propagation, landscaping, and education.
  • Gaining hands-on leadership, team-building, and professional skills.
  • Developing community with fellow interns and attending continuing education classes, lectures, and field trips.
  • Developing working relationships with Arboretum staff and having access to staff expertise.
  • Having access to the Arboretum library with its extensive collection of gardening and horticultural references.
  • If appropriate, Arboretum staff will write letters of reference for school admission, employment, or community service verification.