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The goal of the Education Intern is to learn how to plan and deliver educational programs for Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Duties and Responsibilities

Work with the Director of Education and Education Team members to plan, implement and deliver educational outreach programs.  Programs include, but are not limited to, a Learning by Leading™ program for Cornell students, adult education programs, interpretation projects, youth programs, and visitors services.

Activities may include

  • Working with the Director of Education & Communications, the Intern Coordinator, and Botanic Gardens staff on the development of a Learning by Leading™ program for Cornell students.  The Learning by Leading™ program will provide internships for Cornell students to work in teams alongside Botanic Gardens staff to solve real-world problems that support our mission to inspire people to understand, appreciate, and nurture plants and the cultures they sustain.
  • Working with the Adult Education Coordinator on the development, implementation, and delivery of adult education classes.  Work may include contacting and working with instructors, processing registrations, setting up and hosting classes, delivering tours.
  • Working with the Youth Education Coordinator to deliver programs to youth from schools and youth groups. Work may include working with youth, coordinating with school and youth leaders, processing registrations, setting up and hosting programs.
  • Working with the Interpretation Coordinator on interpretive projects for Cornell Botanic Gardens.  Work may include research and development of interpretive materials, displays, audio/smart phone tours/interpretation and printed materials.
  • Working with the Visitor Services Coordinator to deliver quality visitor services to the visiting public.  Work may include periodic staffing of our front desk and welcome carts/tables to provide visitor services such as orienting visitors to Cornell Botanic Gardens – our places and programs, as well as to Cornell and Ithaca.
  • Collaborating and coordinating with Botanic Gardens staff, Cornell University faculty, staff and students as needed to carry out the above activities.
  • Developing and administering evaluation of educational programs.
  • Assisting with other education initiatives and activities.
  • Participating in weekly group intern activities as scheduled.
  • Maintaining a portfolio of work that will be shared with all staff on the last official day of the internship.


  • Ability to commit to the entire internship period
  • Currently enrolled or accepted Cornell University student
  • Plant science, Horticulture, Ecology and/or education background
  • Good communication, writing, computer, and organizational skills
  • Outgoing, interested and able to interact with many different audience groups
  • Comfortable speaking in front of small and large groups
  • Knowledge of plant science, taxonomy and/or general horticultural principles helpful but not mandatory
  • Interest in, and comfortable working with adult and youth learners
  • Good sense of humor and people skills
  • Ability to work various weekends throughout the summer
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and experience driving motor vehicles
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs
  • Must be able to commit to the full internship period. 
  • Must be able to work full-time, 8 hours/day for 5 days/week.  Evening and weekend work will be required.
  • Must be available to work the Saturday of Reunion Weekend. 

Work Environment

The intern will work primarily in an office environment that is highly collaborative. There will also be opportunities to work outdoors in the gardens and natural areas of Cornell Botanic Gardens. Research may involve visits to libraries or other off-site locations. Each Monday the intern will participate in Learning Mondays.  These days may include field trips or educational activities about the diverse work of a public garden.  Some time is set aside each Monday for Capturing Your Experience. Parking is not available.

General Program Information

The Cornell Botanic Gardens internship program is open to all currently enrolled or accepted Cornell University students (including graduating seniors and graduate students). Botanic Gardens recognizes that an internship is an opportunity to try out a career field. While we encourage applications from those with plant or natural sciences coursework or relevant work experience, we also welcome applications from students that are enthusiastic about the natural world and can articulate their interest in our program.

Goal: Provide an educational and work experience for Cornell University students involving hands-on activities that build on classroom learning and represent the full spectrum of work throughout our organization.

Vision: We view our interns foremost as learners who offer a valuable fresh perspective. We treat each student as a professional team member and part of the Botanic Gardens family. Our staff is committed to the program, offering mentorship, guidance, and appreciation for each intern’s contribution.  For more information or questions on the general details of the internship program, contact Phil Syphrit at 607-227-5795.

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.