Nature Academy Internships
University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum
Nature Academy Internship Program
Do you want to learn about and grow organic produce for fellow students? Discover the difference between a native and invasive plant? Help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden? Build an interactive map of a garden? Create a youth-ed tour from the ground up? Participate in the 20th Shakespeare in the Arb season?
Join us this summer as a Matthaei-Nichols Nature Academy intern and make a difference. We’re a dynamic organization dedicated to training a new generation of environmental leaders in sustainability, conservation, education and ecological restoration.
We have a wide range of paid internships available in 2022, with four areas of interest and flexibility in length, hours, and focus: 1) Campus Farm, 2) Curation & Interpretation, 3) Field Services, 4) Visitor Engagement & Education.
Note on intern job descriptions
Because of evolving circumstances due to the pandemic, it’s likely that interns will receive cross-team training in order to help meet changing organizational needs, providing a broader exposure to teams and work experiences.
Internships descriptions specify whether the positions are in-person, remote or hybrid, plus start and end dates. Many positions focus on outdoor work. In-person internship work will take place in accordance with strict covid safety protocols. As part of the University of Michigan we adhere to university policy and guidelines for all public and employment programs.
Note: All Campus Farm intern positions have been filled. The Campus Farm is a student driven multi-stakeholder living learning lab for sustainable food systems work on campus. The farm is dedicated to the ecological production of food, on-farm carbon neutrality, and food justice centered around food grown by students for students. All interns will learn about and engage in: organic crop and transplant production, crop establishment and irrigation, organic soil, pest and weed management, equipment operation, food safety, harvest, and post-harvest handling and sales. Internships are full time farm work blended with Campus Farm management roles that will start in the summer and continue throughout the 2022-2023 school year.
Campus Farm Food Safety and Orders Manager
This production and management position will grow food for students by students through sales to Michigan Dining (MDining), on campus Farm Stand, and donations to Maize and Blue Cupboard. This position is responsible for coordinating weekly produce offers and deliveries while overseeing maintenance of our food safety procedures as part of the Campus Farm Management team.
Key details: In-person work, 40 hours/week from May-end of August, Monday-Friday, with occasional weekends; the role continues 8-12 hours/week in Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 terms as part of the farm’s student management team.
Campus Farm Food Access Manager
This production and management position will grow food for students by students through sales to MDining, on campus Farm Stand, and donations to Maize and Blue Cupboard. In addition, this position is responsible for co-leading the on campus Farm Stand June-November in collaboration with University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program staff members as part of the Campus Farm Management team.
Key details: In-person work, 40 hours/week from May-end of August, Monday-Friday, with occasional weekends; the role continues 8-12 hours/week in Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 terms as part of the farm’s student management team and includes leading Thursday Farmstands during fall term.
Campus Farm Affinity Group Workday Manager
This production and management position will grow food for students by students through sales to MDining, on campus Farm Stand, and donations to Maize and Blue Cupboard. In addition, this position is responsible for promoting and coordinating tours and workdays for affinity groups (such as student organizations and university programs).
Key details: In-person work, 40 hours/week from July 1 to end of August, Monday-Friday, with occasional weekends; the role continues 8-12 hours/week in Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 terms as part of the farm’s student management team and includes leading weekend affinity group workdays.
Campus Farm Friends of Campus Farm Workday Manager
This production and management position will grow food for students by students through sales to MDining, on campus Farm Stand, and donations to Maize and Blue Cupboard food pantry. In addition, this position is responsible for running Friends of the Campus Farm (FCF) work days during summer, fall, and winter terms and acting as a liaison between FCF and Campus Farm management team.
Key details: In-person work, 40 hours/week from July 1 to end of August, Monday-Friday, with occasional weekends; the role continues 8-12 hours/week in Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 terms as part of the farm’s student management team and includes leading FCF workdays Friday afternoons/evenings (fall and winter term) and Sunday afternoons (fall term).
Curation and Interpretation
Note: All Curation & Interpretation positions have been filled.
Cultural Collections Internships:
The Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum (MBGNA) is in the homeland of Anishinaabe peoples and stewards native landscapes and collections. Intern projects are focused on specific cultural collections, deepening our understanding of each, and incrementally respectfully re-presenting them to our on-site and virtual publics. Work will include database, information management, and communication through text and image.
Work with the field services team caring for our plant collections, buildings and facilities, natural areas, turf, trails, and landscapes across our four properties.
Key details: For these in-person internships, all work will strictly adhere to necessary Covid-19 safety protocols. Positions are for May-August, 40 hours/week with the possibility of weekend and evening work; some possible flexibility for candidates interested in part-time work. Please note this in your cover letter. Areas of work include:
Facilities, equipment and landscaping (4 positions): work with our facilities and landscaping team to help maintain our buildings, landscapes, hardscapes, and grounds using a variety of tools and equipment. Duties include mowing, trimming, blowing, power washing, inspecting and routine maintenance, cleaning and care of buildings, utilities, power equipment, landscapes, and hardscapes.
Visitor Engagement and Education
Work with the visitor engagement team to provide excellent visitor experiences at both the Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens, although positions will serve predominantly at the Matthaei location. Positions available with this team:
Shakespeare in the Arb Production (SITA) Assistant: The student will learn all aspects of being a Production Assistant on a play held outdoors at Nichols Arboretum by working with staff and SITA teams to support A Midsummer Night’s Dream in this 20th SITA season. Duties will include training and managing volunteer ushers, audience management, preparing tickets, transporting personnel and equipment with a golf cart, communications, logistics and other duties.
Key details: One in-person internship, 40 hours/week, Wednesdays through Sundays. This position will run for six weeks beginning Wednesday, May 25, 2022 through June 26, 2022 returning Thursday, September 1, 2022 through September 5, 2022 for the Labor Day Revival during U-M Welcome Week. Must be able to work outside for hours in warm or rainy weather; driver’s license required in order to drive a golf cart.
How to apply and what you need to know
Interested? Here’s how to apply:
1) Complete an on-line application at mbgna.umich.edu and
2) Attach your resume and cover letter as a PDF. Both are required.
Your cover letter should indicate the team(s) or position(s) which interest you, what you can contribute to these positions, and your availability. Indicating multiple interests is okay.
□ Applications accepted starting January 15, 2022.
□ Phone, in-person, and/or Zoom interviews will begin after February 15, 2022. Positions will remain open until filled. Please note that some positions do not begin until August or September.
□ Positions are limited – apply early!
□ Graduated high school and currently enrolled in a college/university by the internship start date, or a December 2021 or spring 2022 college or university graduate. A good work ethic, enthusiasm for teamwork, and a willingness to learn is required.
□ We will participate in the following virtual job/internship fairs:
January 26: SEAS Green Career Fair
February 3: DEI@Work: All-Industry Job and Internship Fair sponsored by the University Career Center and the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives
□ Hours: Up to 40 hours per week, including possible weekends and evenings.
□ Compensation: $11 – 12.00/hour. Compensation rate is based on education, experience and specialized skills.
□ Many positions require an ability to lift up to 40lbs., and daily work outside.
□ University of Michigan-Ann Arbor policy requires that students from other colleges or universities (including UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint) who are offered an internship position undergo a background check.
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