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Garden Interpretation Intern

Goal of the Garden Interpretation Intern:

Gain experience interpreting the mission of Cornell Botanic Gardens to our audiences with a focus on visitor interaction and caring for our Climate Change Garden.

Duties and Responsibilities:

At Cornell Botanic Gardens, we place a high priority on interpreting our collections (gardens, natural areas, and semi-permanent exhibits) for visitors. Interpretation is a way of forging emotional and intellectual connections between visitors and the place/thing being interpreted. 

In this internship, the intern will:

  • Work with our interpretation coordinator to develop interpretive materials, which may include brochures, signs, exhibits, and interpretation using mobile devices. 
  • Administer visitor surveys to evaluate the use and success of interpretive opportunities offered to visitors.
  • Work with our environmental educator with the care and interpretation of our Climate Change Garden.  This includes planting, watering, weeding, and maintaining the garden’s environmental controls of the high tunnel. Additionally, the intern will assist with visitor interpretation of the Climate Change Garden, which includes guided tours, administering visitor surveys, and writing a bi-weekly blog.


  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule, which includes occasional Saturdays.
  •  Must be willing and eager to engage with visitors to Cornell Botanic Gardens, which includes answering visitors questions, asking visitors to take a survey, leading an occasional tour. 
  • Ability to commit to the entire internship period; extension into fall is a possibility
  • Ability to pay attention to detail
  • Currently enrolled Cornell student, undergraduate or graduate; students graduating in May are also eligible.
  • Gardening experience not required, but intern must be willing to learn and eager to work with plants in a garden setting under a variety of weather conditions.

This is a full-time, 12 week internship. Typical work hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.