Internship Program

Developing a New Generation of Environmental Leaders

Internships are Mt. Cuba Center’s greatest investment in the future. Our mission is to inspire an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a commitment to support the habitats that sustain them. We hope that our interns continue this trend for future generations to come.

Mt. Cuba Center’s internship program has the following objectives:

  • Provide valuable skills, education, and experience that will help interns in their future professional endeavors
  • Connect interns with professionals in the field for networking and mentorship opportunities
  • Encourage and enable interns to pursue careers in conservation, public horticulture, or the nonprofit and cultural sectors
  • Create responsible environmental stewards and advocates for education

We offer two types of internship programs:

Our Summer Intern program runs for 12 weeks and is designed for individuals who have completed at least their junior year of college in programs in environmental science, horticulture or plant sciences.

A One-Year Intern program for college graduates with a degree in horticulture, forestry, ecology, environmental studies, associated plant fields, or museum studies to become Botanical Gardening Professionals.

Compensation: On-site housing is available at no cost to the intern and pay is $11/hour for a 40-hour work week. One-year interns also receive medical coverage.

Mt. Cuba Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability or handicap, sex, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, arrest record, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.  Interns are paid and on-site housing is provided. For more information, contact the Internship Coordinator, at 302.239.8886 or internships@mtcubacenter.org

Please apply for a specific internship position below. Application deadline is March 1, 2020. Apply early: interviews are conducted on a rolling basis beginning in January 2020 and will continue until positions are filled, possibly before the March 1 deadline.

Mt. Cuba Center offers an exceptional 12-week summer internship program that provides students the opportunity to explore public garden career options through hands-on and education focused experiences. Learn practical eco-gardening skills working alongside our horticulturists, and greenhouse staff. Students participate in workshops, field trips, and plant identification classes and maintain a field notebook that demonstrates an understanding of native pants and their use in gardening and conservation. Summer Internships run from May 18, 2020 to August 7, 2020 (no exceptions applied to the start or end date).

Mt. Cuba Center’s summer internship program is designed for individuals who have completed at least their junior year of college in programs in horticulture, environmental science, or plant sciences.

The Greenhouse Intern participates in all aspects of greenhouse operations, including plant propagation and growing techniques. The intern will gain comprehensive knowledge of plant production in our indoor and outdoor growing facilities. Daily activities include watering, transplanting, weeding, and general plant care. Emphasis is placed on data collection and organization of plant records in all phases of production. The intern will be exposed to the over 500 accessions of herbaceous and woody native plants produced per year for use in our gardens and research programs. Qualifications include attention to detail, self-direction, and the ability to lift at least 35 pounds.

Apply Here

The Formal Gardens Intern will learn how to maintain native plantings in formal garden designs that surround the Main House and in decorative containers on the terraces. The intern will work alongside Mt. Cuba’s experienced horticulture staff with the opportunity to interact with guests while working in the South Garden, Round Garden, and other formal areas. Activities include weeding, watering, planting, pruning, and maintaining landscaped beds. Qualifications include attention to detail, self-direction, and the ability to lift 25 pounds.

Apply Here

The Ecological Gardening – Naturalistic Gardens Intern will enjoy a rotation through Mt. Cuba Center’s naturalistic gardens and train in the cultivation and maintenance of woodland, woodland edge, meadow, and pond gardens. In addition, the intern will learn about native plants and the wildlife that depend on them; understand sustainable management strategies used in mature naturalistic gardens; and be exposed to pest/disease management practices, weed identification, and design concepts. Qualifications include attention to detail, self-direction, and the ability to lift 25 pounds.

Apply Here

Mt. Cuba Center’s one year internships prepare individuals as future leaders in public gardens. Each internship is supervised by a professional with relevant and related background experience and includes a research project that emphasizes the investigative nature of learning while supporting the intern’s career goals. Students will develop a suite of practical and professional skills, learn sustainable gardening practices, and participate in field trips, workshops, conferences, and native plant identification classes. Intern projects will culminate in an in-house presentation of the results. Internships run from May 18, 2020 to May 7, 2021 (no exceptions applied to the start or end date). Mt. Cuba Center, while very scenic, is remote and has no public transportation, walking, or bike lanes, so a car is highly recommended. [The use of Mt. Cuba Center’s vehicles for personal use is not permitted.]

The one year internship is designed for individuals with a degree in horticulture, ecology, environmental studies, associated plant fields, or museum studies who want to become professionals in public gardens. Through this internship, individuals with limited experience in the horticultural industry will also gain basic employment skills.

The Arboriculture Intern learns first-hand how Mt. Cuba Center manages our extensive collection of trees. The intern works in our gardens and natural lands areas on a full range of tree care tasks including planting, pruning, and removals. In addition, the intern becomes proficient at using the tools of the trade such as ropes, knots, pole saws, and pruners. Additional arboricultural skills learned in the program include identification of native trees, plant health care, and groundwork. Advanced training in tree climbing and the operation of a chainsaw and brush chipper will also be included in the internship. The intern will work closely with the Arboriculture Manager to systematically evaluate Mt. Cuba Center’s accessioned tree collection to determine their overall condition. The outcomes of the evaluations will assist the arboriculture team in making informed decisions on tree planting, maintenance, and removal. This internship presents an excellent opportunity for an individual who plans to pursue a career in arboriculture. Qualifications include attention to detail, self-direction, and the ability to lift 25 pounds.

Apply Here

The Guest Experience Intern learns to create remarkable experiences at a public garden by assisting in the evaluation of on-site interpretation materials and the development and implementation of public programs throughout the year. The intern project involves the evaluation of our newly developed interpretive suite of products, such as signage, wayfinding, and interactive activities, all key elements of Mt. Cuba Center’s interpretive planning process. The intern’s evaluation tracks the efficacy of the products and leads to recommendations for improvement. In addition to their evaluation project, the intern participates in planning and executing Mt. Cuba’s seasonal events. In 2020, this will include an exciting new community engagement project, OF/BY/FOR ALL, where the intern will help to put on programs involving local partners. The intern also develops project management skills through cross-department collaboration, as well as external communication skills in relaying key messages to the public. Qualifications include a familiarity with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, adaptability, organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to interact with the public.

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The Native Plant Curation Intern will work closely with Mt. Cuba’s plant Recorder and Director of Collections as part of the Collections team. This position explores all aspects of living collections management and offers a rare opportunity for an individual to gain insights into the skills required for professionals in this field. The selected intern will oversee a project focusing on creating a collection development plan for Mt. Cuba Center’s tree collection, the outcome of which will have a lasting impact on Mt. Cuba Center’s curatorial program. In addition, the intern assists in plant documentation and reporting, participates in collections assessments and learns a variety of skills, including inventorying, plant labeling, mapping, and nomenclature verification. This hands-on training is intended to develop essential skills for future collections managers and public garden professionals.

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The Natural Lands Intern expands their knowledge of and experience with land stewardship while gaining the skills required for a position in the natural resources field. The internship focuses primarily on updating and analyzing existing land management and research data using software tools such as ArcGIS. The intern will also use new and innovative techniques in data collection and analysis. Additionally, the intern will summarize the results and write reports for posting on the Conservation and Natural Lands webpage. The intern may also assist other departments in data collection, analysis, and GIS mapping projects. The intern will learn how to establish goals, objectives, and maintenance schedules for ecologically based land management projects. Qualifications include experience with ArcGIS, Microsoft Office suite, data entry and analysis, and attention to detail.

Apply Here