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Duties and Responsibilities

Maintenance of annual trials plots. Common tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Preparing annual beds
  • Transporting annuals from the greenhouse to the botanic garden and planting annuals at the beginning of the season
  • Mulching, weeding, and deadheading
  • Watering and fertilizing
  • Preparing signage and maps and ensuring accurate labeling of plants
  • Evaluating and documenting plant performance throughout the season
  • Working with botanic garden staff to assemble and maintain mixed containers and tropical display beds.
  • All botanic garden interns will do weekly documentation of learning and skill development. This portfolio or field record will be shared with all staff on the last official day of the internship.

Based on need and the intern’s interests, work may also include:

Scouting plants for insects and diseases to assess overall plant health
Working with annual trials program coordinator to enter data and photos into spreadsheets and the National Plant Trials database
Assisting in other areas of the botanic garden


  • Ability to commit to the entire internship period
  • Currently enrolled as a Cornell University student
  • Coursework or work experience involving plants or the natural world
  • Enthusiasm for the horticultural field
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Ability and willingness to do repetitive tasks
  • Ability to work outside in varying weather conditions
  • Ability and willingness to learn and follow proper safety protocols
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Participation in weekly group intern activities as scheduled
  • A valid driver’s license with 2-3 years driving experience is helpful though not mandatory

This is a full-time, summer-long internship. Monday through Friday, typically 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., with some flexibility (39 hours per week).

Work Environment

This position will spend most of the workday outdoors within our botanical garden areas. The job provides an excellent opportunity to get hands-on training in a wide variety of tasks under the encouraging direction of horticulture staff members.

Each week interns will participate in Learning Mondays, a series of workshops that may include field trips or educational activities about the diverse work of a public garden.

All botanic gardens interns will do weekly documentation of learning and skill development, Capturing Your Experience. This portfolio or field record will be shared with all staff on the last official day of the internship, Farewell Friday.

Apply Now

Submit your application online.

Program Elements

Internships include “Learning Mondays,” group work days, and are required to capture their summer experience to share on the last day.

Internship Program

Our summer internship program provides an educational and work experience involving hands-on training that builds on classroom learning.