Membership dollars go to supporting many incredible things at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum—including our summer interns! These summer 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.

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Dear Members,

Please accept my sincere thanks for your support of the Nature Academy Internship program. As a second-year intern, I returned to further expand my knowledge of the environment, ecology, and conservation efforts. It is heartwarming to know our members continually support Matthaei-Nichols efforts to educate and involve the student body and build the leaders of tomorrow.

I am currently a rising junior studying ecology, evolution, and biodiversity in the biology program. When not in class, I enjoy walks around Ann Arbor, potlucks with my friends, and planning trips to see the many sights around Michigan. In addition to my academics, I am actively involved in a plant evolution lab and a member of student groups advocating and educating others about sustainability through clean energy.

This internship opportunity is critical to my professional development, and it would not have been possible without your support. As my career path begins to take shape, I plan to continue this tradition of giving back to the next generation. Thank you again for all you do to support the efforts of Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum.


Yoav Jacob



Dear Members,

My name is Ivana Khreizat and I am a visitor services intern working the front desk at both Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. I just wanted to send out my most sincere thanks for supporting my internship here. Your support for this organization has allowed me to participate in this experience and learn so much over the summer!

As a University of Michigan student interested in studying public health, my experience here has really educated me on the public part of “public garden.” My favorite moments involve working with all of the diverse and amazing visitors (such as you) who come to our properties. Working at the gardens has been a wonderful opportunity for me because it strongly correlates with the research I plan to conduct in the upcoming year. I will be investigating adolescent opinions on the importance of environmental education and how that can impact their health.

In order to enhance the experience of the gardens for our guests, I plan on creating a guide of fun facts and stories about plants in the conservatory. With that, my goal is to promote a more engaging time for both children and adults who visit the conservatory.

Along with working at Matthaei-Nichols I will be doing lots of traveling, hiking, and volunteering this summer. I’ll be exploring the west coast for the first time, and hope to finally finish a book that I started in late April.

This internship opportunity has been substantial for my future, and it is all made possible by your support.


Ivana Khreizat