Two Great Locations, One Organization

Job Openings

Student Caretaker Position at Nichols Arboretum

Live and Work in the Arb!

Learn More and Apply for the Caretaker Position

General Job Description: Caretakers work at least 10 hours a week at the Arboretum in exchange for free lodging (with the exception of internet/cable) at either the historic Burnham House/Reader Center at our Washington Heights entrance or at the Caretaker Cottage near the center of the Arboretum (depending on which has current vacancy). Typically caretakers assist in many facets of caring for the Arboretum property, while they may have one or two particular areas of focus.

General duties include a mix of outdoor tasks (such as trash pick-up and collection, weeding and planting garden areas, natural areas stewardship, clearing snow, etc.), assisting with special events and leading workdays with volunteers at the Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens location, and may rarely include work on educational programs, publications, or other activities as assigned.

Job Duration: April 30, 2019-April 30, 2020, positions may be renewed annually until graduation.

Compensation: Free lodging and utilities (with the exception of internet/cable) at the Arboretum.

Required Qualifications:

  • UM Junior, Senior or Graduate student with a good work ethic, enthusiasm for teamwork and a willingness to learn.
  • Students must remain enrolled at the University during the term of the appointment
  • An ability to perform manual labor, including some transporting over 40 lbs
  • A passion for outdoor work, sustainability, and the environment
  • Applicants should be able to drive a tractor (training will be provided) and to operate additional maintenance equipment when necessary. Valid driver’s license also required.

We are particularly interested in individuals with a good working knowledge of local plants and ecosystems, but other skills in areas such as trail building and repair and ecological restoration would also be valuable. Caretakers must be comfortable working as a team and with the public. We are interested in creating a diverse team (five total caretakers) among new and existing caretakers.

Other Considerations: Both apartments are unfurnished. Pets are not allowed. Parking is provided at the Field Office near the Caretaker Cottage. We will consider married couples who both want to work as caretakers.

Additional Information:

Our Vision: We will be the center for rich and diverse nature-based experiences for the University of Michigan and its surrounding communities. We will provide exceptionally beautiful gardens and natural areas for enjoyment. We will train a new generation of environmental leaders in sustainability, conservation and ecological restoration and engage research that deepens our understanding of plants, ecology, and the role of nature in our lives.

Our Mission: Promoting environmental enjoyment, stewardship and sustainability through education, research and interaction with the natural world. We believe diversity strengthens our ability to accomplish this mission. For more information about Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, please visit

How to Apply: Please email a cover letter and current resume with three references to: HR & Financial Coordinator, Rachel Bernecker with “Nichols Arboretum Caretaker” in the subject line.

U-M EEO/AA Statement The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Shakespeare in the Arb Production Assistant

Learn More and Apply for the Shakespeare Position

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum is seeking a temporary Production Assistant to work with regular staff to support the 2019 production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Shakespeare in the Arb is in its 19th season.  The event draws thousands of community members to see this unique performance that takes place outdoors at various locations throughout Nichols Arboretum.

Click here to apply for the Shakespeare in the Arb Production Assistant position.

The Production Assistant is an important member of the Shakespeare in the Arb team and helps to ensure a safe and efficient production. The duties will include staffing performances, training and managing volunteer ushers, preparing tickets, managing the audience at each performance, assisting the cast and director with production needs, assisting with the cast party, and other logistical tasks as assigned. 

This position will last for six weeks beginning May 20, 2019 and return August 28, 2019 for the Labor Day Revival during U-M Welcome Week.  The Production Assistant will report to the Events Supervisor.

Caretakers at Matthaei-Nichols

Matthaei-Nichols caretakers live and work at Nichols Arboretum. They do everything from conducting ecosystem restoration workdays to working on prescribed burns, helping with Shakespeare in the Arb performances to removing invasive plants.

Student Work-Study Positions:

Each academic year, we hire dozens of work study students for paid positions in all areas of our organization- Visitor Engagement, Natural Areas/Horticulture, Facilities/Grounds, Education, Campus Farm, GIS and more!  To see current openings for work-study positions at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum please visit the UM Student Employment website.  Find our postings by filtering your search to show Work-Study positions for Botanical Gardens and Arboretum.

We believe diversity strengthens our ability to achieve our mission.  The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  

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