Membership dollars support many incredible things at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum – including our summer interns! These internships provide students with real-world experience in horticulture, research, curation, conservation, field services, visitor engagement, administration, and much more. Interns work on impactful projects at the gardens and arboretum while taking advantage of career-building learning opportunities. Here are some interns sharing their experiences at Matthaei-Nichols and thanking members for their invaluable support.



Dear Members,

Please accept my sincere thanks for your support of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. While your membership provides you with many wonderful benefits, it also contributes to funding Nature Academy interns such as myself!

Upon transferring to the University of Michigan in the fall of 2017 from an Illinois community college, I declared a communication studies major in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. As a visitor engagement and event planning intern at Matthaei-Nichols, I know that I’m getting experience that is not only valuable to the degree  I’m pursuing, but to my interpersonal development as well.

Outside of class, I love reading, spending time with any (and all) dogs that I encounter and performing in an alternative percussion group that I’m a part of at U-M called Groove.

This summer, I hope to learn about things that are beyond the realms of what class will teach me. Reading and (mostly local) traveling have been my go-to ways of accomplishing this!

After graduation, it is my goal to attend graduate school through U-M’s Behavior, Education, and Communication program in the School for Environment and Sustainability. I have complete confidence that my internship at Matthaei-Nichols is preparing me for this next step, as I’m learning so much about environmental matters in addition to further developing my communication and organizational skills through the events that I host.

Thank you for your generosity and support!


Caroline Golbeck



Dear Members,

Thank you for your contributions and membership at  Matthaei Botanical Garden and Nichols Arboretum.

I am currently a student in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and plan to major in Program in the Environment. Through my experiences with organizations such as the Student Conservation Association and The Greening of Detroit, I have discovered that my passion lies in the fields of environmental conservation and urban planning.  After earning my undergraduate degree, I intend to pursue a master’s in landscape architecture at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability. I believe that the skills and knowledge I acquired as a Nature Academy intern are preparing me for my future endeavors.

As an intern in the field services department, I specifically work with our woody plants by planting and maintaining the trees and shrubs at both the botanical gardens and arboretum. This work has expanded my knowledge and experience with a plethora of tools and utility vehicles. Also, I have learned to identify native and non-native plant species that commonly grow in natural areas as well as the associated treatment methods to promote healthy growth. My experiences this summer have encouraged me to consider volunteering at Matthaei-Nichols in the fall and winter semesters to continue to learn and immerse myself in the environment. Nature is a valuable aspect of our everyday lives and I believe that it should be cared for accordingly.

As an aspiring landscape architect, I know that this internship has been pivotal to my academic and professional development.  It is encouraging to know that you and many others have shared their generosity by supporting students like me.


Joseph Powell



To the Members of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum,

Please accept my gratitude for your gift to Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. Your gift allows our organization to fulfill its mission by providing a tremendous amount of support to multiple purposes, one of which is our Nature Academy summer internship program. More than 40 interns were hired this summer, and your gifts are vital in giving them the skills and the professional development needed for successful careers.

I am currently a graduate student in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. I have been working at Matthaei for three years as an administrative assistant in the membership and development department, and as part of the visitors services team this summer. Over the last three years I’ve learned many vital skills here that will help me achieve a successful career as a professional musician.

Your gift not only gives directly to our organization but goes beyond that to support students such as myself who are pursuing career paths outside of environmental fields. Your gift truly goes a long way! I plan to continue this tradition of giving back to the next generation, and have already been inspired to do so by participating in Giving Blue Day in November 2017. Your gift is truly appreciated. Thank you again for your support!


Madison Montambault