Horiticultural Research Internships

2020 Interns

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers several three-month internships in Horticulture & Research from approximately early May to late August.

Internship objectives: provide students with an enriching professional growth experience in public horticulture; encourage creative problem solving skills in public garden management issues; and give students practical career experience in public garden management.

Applications are now closed for 2020. 

Internship responsibilities: rotate through different garden areas gaining experience in maintenance of display gardens, research collections, and general grounds work. Additional internship activities will include weekly meetings with arboretum staff and or Horticultural Science faculty to discuss collection maintenance, pest management, and other public garden issues not covered in daily work. Students will be assigned discussion topics or readings focusing on current issues facing public gardens. Topics and readings will reflect the interests and work assignments of the interns and will vary from year to year. 

Topics such as invasive plant management, IPM or pesticide use in public areas, maintaining research collections in public areas, may be covered. Additional aspects of public horticulture including the Andersen Horticultural Library, interpretation and exhibits, children's programs, visitor programs and events, plant information and outreach, orientation to specific research activities and projects, hands-on horticultural demonstration and experiences, including off-site field trips or lectures, and other relative experiences will be organized throughout the summer.

Some internships will specialize in particular areas as described below:

  • Research intern positions may also be available working with specific research projects involving data collection, plant propagation, and pest management with a specific area or group of plants.
  • Extension or educational intern positions that involve horticultural writing, website work, or the development of educational information may also be available.
  • In 2020, one internship will specialize in Native Orchid Conservation.  This internship will focus on several aspects of rare plant conservation with native orchid species, including lab, greenhouse, plot and fieldwork. Work will be both at the Arboretum and around the state.  Basic biology/botany coursework is required, advanced coursework in systematics, conservation, and ecology is helpful.  If interested, please specify your interest in the Native Orchid Conservation Internship in your application.

Intern stipend is $13.00/hour for a 40-hour work week. Applicants must have their own transportation.  Housing assistance may be available. The Arboretum's extensive library and education classes are available to interns. Interns are expected to join in the activities of the Arboretum, including special events and visitor programs, in order to experience the full spectrum of a public garden.

One intern from the University of Minnesota will be awarded the George and Mary Lou Klacan Scholarship in the amount of $2500 in addition to their summer hourly wage. All applicants from the University of Minnesota will be considered for the scholarship, with preference given to students, a) studying horticulture/plant science or a field related, b) demonstrating financial need or academic merit, and c) demonstrating an interest in integrated pest management.

In 2019 the Landscape Scholars program was initiated for undergraduate plant science and related majors at the University of Minnesota and combines academic classes with the experiential hands-on internship at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Students from schools other than the University of Minnesota are encouraged to apply for the internship program but are not eligible to be considered for the additional scholarship. Student interns from outside of the University of Minnesota seeking credit for their internship will be responsible for working with their home school to ensure requirements for credit are met.

Application Information: Applicants must demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in public horticulture. Qualifications for candidates include gardening or plant maintenance experience and enrollment in or completion of an A.A., B.S., or M.S. degree program in the Life Sciences area (Biology, Botany, Environmental Science, Forestry, Horticulture, or Life Science Ecology).

To apply, please complete an online application.  Please note that you will need to be signed in to a Google account to complete this application.  If you do not have a Google account or would prefer to submit your application via mail or email, you may download an application form and send it, along with a personal statement, resume and official transcript to:

Jean Keiser, Human Resources at keis0001@umn.edu or Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN 55318

Applications for internships will be accepted until positions are filled.

2020 Intern Projects

2020 Intern Projects

2019 Intern Projects

2019 Intern Projects

Gianna Epich, Jesy Shortenbecker, Ben Zigler
Tree Trek at the Arb
Anyone with Google Maps on their mobile device can use this interactive map to learn about and see great trees near the main buildings at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: 

Stephen Ahrenholz
Trees and Bees

Gianna Epich
MacMillian Hosta Glade and Azalea Research Collection

Cody Lachinski
Japanese Garden Showcase

Ben Lehman
Asian Jumping Worms: Update on the Scope of Infestations and Analysis of Treatment Options

Aaron Semington
Ravine Restoration Project 

Jessica Shortenbecker
Limited Visual Tree Risk Assessment 

Cayla Smith
Minnesota Roots; A Guide to the Plants of Minnesota’s People 

Ben Zigler
History of the Prunus Collection 


2018 Intern Projects

2018 Intern Projects

Connor Hegenmeyer 
Hybridizing Deciduous Azaleas for Later Bloom

Klara Peterson 
Summary and Recommendations for the Dwarf Trout Lily at the Arboretum

Melanie Ruha
Composting Green Waste at the Arboretum 

Gus Sinclair 
Summer Tree-sure Hunt

Nicola Lowery and Jess Loeffler 
IPM Videos for Master Gardener Training

Maria Vogel 
A Bee Hotel for the Arboretum

Aubrey Olson 
Gardens of Harmonious Beauty

2017 Intern Projects

2017 Intern Projects

Jacqueline Schmoll and Hannah Gershone
Germination Testing of Wisconsin Natives

Rochelle Dressel
Expanding the Photo-documentation of the Orchid Seed Collection

Andrew Heiserman
Comparative Evaluation of Scots and Korean Pine 2014-2017

Michelle Dinesen
Collecting for the Herbarium: The Peony Walk

Luke Rable
Invasive Worms at the Arboretum

2016 Intern Projects

2016 Intern Projects

Keoni Wong
Hsiao Chinese Garden Walk: Tree Peony Bed Design Recommendations

Natalie Hamilton 
Historic Uses of Medicinal Herbs

Sean Bowerman 
Managing Leafy Spurge

Madeline Esterl 
Bur Oak Blight Presence and Susceptibility

Kealy Porter 
Native Plant Biology and Resource Guide

Michaela Finley 
Fungal Contamination does not Stop Micropropagation of Cypripedium or Platanthera

Drew Zagala 
Monitoring Nutrient and pH levels of the Water at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum  

2015 Intern Projects

2015 Intern Projects

Becca Smith 
Slade Perennial Garden Summer Bloom Report

Becca Spilchal 
Summer Bloom Blog

Michael Tuma 
Buckthorn Restoration Comparison

Jared Gamm 
Arboretum Irrigation Audit and Recommendations

Sol Jin 
Western Jacob's Ladder Propagation and Phenology

Dante Leyva 
Lundberg Snow Trillium Germination

Matt Erickson 
Characterizing the Growth of a New Grape MN 1285

Erica Gardner 
Winter Walking Path Recommendations

Michele Wisdom 
Annual Pollinator Comparisons