Student Opportunities

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The Learning by Leading Internship Program offers quarter-long and school year-long internships in which students work in a team to solve real-world problems in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. Internships correspond with the UC Davis academic schedule and are offered fall, winter and spring quarters. Summer internships are offered on an individual basis, in coordination with staff mentors.

We are currently recruiting for several Arboretum and Public Garden Internships as part of our larger Learning by Leading Program. Apply in one or more of the following areas:

  • Sustainable Horticulture
  • Habitat Restoration & Naturalized Lands
  • Plant Propagation & Nursery
  • SEE Putah Creek (Steward, Engage, Explore)

Download the application (MS Word .docx).

For general information about Arboretum internships, click here.

Quarter-long Internships

Students may opt to intern for one quarter only, stay with the same program for multiple quarters, or try different programs each quarter. These programs can be joined in the fall, winter, or spring, depending on available space, and offer the most flexibility to try a variety of areas of public garden management.

Plant Propagation and Nursery Internship

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 offered on the weekends in order to gain experience with nursery events.

Fall, Winter, and Spring
Schedule: 3-9 hour/week commitment; each shift is approximately 3 hours.
Units:1-3 units
Contact Information:Taylor Lewis, Nursery Manager, 530-752-6711,

Photos of Nursery and Propagation Student Interns
Photos of Plant Sales at the Arboretum Teaching Nursery

Habitat Restoration and Naturalized Lands Management Internship

Interns will learn best management practices and the current science of restoring and managing natural systems as well as low water-use “sustainable” landscapes using the principles of adaptive management. Across the campus, interns will explore land management through the seasons and gain hands-on skills in planning, design, habitat restoration, biology, plant science, wildlife management, stewardship, erosion control, and maintenance. May also acquire technical skills in construction, irrigation, pruning, and use of heavy equipment such as tractors, All-Terrain-Vehicles, and mowers.

Quarters: Fall, Winter, or Spring
Units:1 unit
Contact Information: Andrew Fulks,

Photo Album of Student Employees from Summer 2013

SEE (Steward, Engage, Explore)
Putah Creek Internship

Interns will gain experience in the management and stewardship of natural lands which will provide them with a deeper connection and understanding of the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve and the riparian and upland ecosystems within it. Through engaging in the ongoing stewardship of the Reserve, the interns will use observational skills to understand the cause and effect of the changing environment within the creek corridor.They will work in teams to identify small projects (such as trail repair, revegetation, visitor amenities, art installations) they would like to implement, and work with staff on completing them. The internship provides valuable qualitative insights into the creek and the challenges faced in stewarding a system with human influence and interference, as well as creative leadership opportunities for identifying and addressing management concerns within natural areas.

Quarters: Fall, Winter, or Spring
Units:1 unit
Contact Information:Mayra Pelagio, Student Co-Coordinator, SEE Putah Creek Intersnhip, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden,

Year-long Internships

We invite students to apply for these year-long internships prior to each fall quarter.

Students are required to commit for one academic year, beginning in fall quarter and continuing through spring quarter. These programs emphasize leadership development and significant public outreach, allowing students to plan and execute longer-term projects in the Arboretum and Public Garden.

Arboretum Ambassador Interns

This team of students engages family audiences and the wider community in themed events that they create with other environmental clubs and partners on campus.Ambassadors gain skills in informal education techniques, environmental leadership, event support, public outreach, volunteer coordination, and museum and non-profit management. Interns also 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.

Year Long— Fall through Spring
Schedule: Ambassador Interns attend weekly meetings as well as 5-6 events per quarter either during the evenings or weekends. The application period for the following school year is in April.
Units: 1-3 units
Contact Information: Rebecca Vaughn, Partnership Program Manager, 530-752-4054,

Award-winning Ambassador Team 2014-15
Photos of Arboretum Ambassador Team 2013-2014

Edible Landscaping Internship

Interns will learn a variety of horticultural, project management, and outreach skills as they maintain community-based edible garden projects on campus.Weekly meetings and workshops are aimed at providing training and hands-on experience in ecological horticulture and leadership development. Training will include topics such as composting, propagation, planting & transplanting, garden design, strengths development, and community outreach.  Interns will also be responsible for independently managing a portion of their time each week developing and implementing design recommendations and outreach events for their particular project sites.

Quarters: Year Long—Fall through Spring
Schedule:4 hours/week commitment for the entire school year.
Units:1 unit/quarter
Contact Information: Amanda Wong, Edible Landscaping Co-Coordinator,

Photos of Edible Landscaping Interns 2013-14
Students sell Edibles at Plant Sales 2014
Edible Landscape Students News feature 2014

GATEways Outreach Internship

GATEways Outreach interns work with a team of community volunteers to develop educational programs for youth, families, and underserved populations. Focused on sharing the riches of the thematic gardens throughout the Arboretum, interns offer weekend “Drop-In Days” to help engage public audiences in sustainability principles. The students also conduct activities at community and campus events, such as local science fairs and Picnic Day.

Quarters: Year Long—Fall through Spring
Schedule:GATEways Outreach interns attend weekly meetings as well as 5-6 events per quarter either during the evenings or weekends. The application period for the following school year is in April.
Units:1-3 units
Contact Information:Melissa Cruz, Outreach Coordinator,

Photos of GATEways Outreach Team 2014-15
Drop-in Discovery Days 2014-15

Sustainable Horticulture Internship

Interns will learn a variety of horticultural skills as they help transform bare, turf or other high-water-use landscapes in the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden into more sustainable, dynamic gardens. Working directly with a UC Davis Arboretum GATEways Horticulturist, interns will gain experience in a wide variety of horticulture skills. Training will include pruning, deadheading perennials, controlling weeds, monitoring garden pests and diseases, building and establishing new gardens, and irrigation design and installation. Each intern will also be responsible for an independent project related to monitoring, research, or garden interpretation.

Offered Fall, Winter, and Spring
Schedule: 3-9 hours/week commitment; each shift is approximately three hours
Units: 1-3 units
Contact Information: Ryan Deering, GATEways Horticulturist,

Photos of Sustainable Horticulture Interns

For general information about Arboretum internships,
click here.