Internship Programs

2013 summer interns, Caroline Rowan, Ian Hazelhoff and Reid Pearlman

Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers a variety of internship opportunities to college and high school students throughout the year. The purpose is to expose young people to the possibilities of rewarding professional careers in public gardens. The Rotary Club of Shades Valley Summer Internship, now in its seventh year, is awarded annually to one college student. The Native Plant Internship, funded by the Little Garden Club, begins in the summer of 2014. One high school student is awarded an unpaid summer internship to work with other interns for a portion of the summer. Additional internships may be arranged by special requests from colleges, universities and high schools. In the summer of 2013, for example, an internship was funded by Birmingham-Southern College (BSC), with funding matched by private sources, for a student enrolled in BSC’s Urban Environmental Studies program. During the fall semester of 2013, three high school students from the Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School completed their weekly community service requirements by working in the pathology lab, the greenhouses and the education facilities of The Gardens.

 

Rotary Club of Shades Valley Internship

 

2013 Intern, Ian Hazelhoff, is a graduate in biology of the University of the South, Sewanee. Since his internship, he has worked full-time as a natural resource specialist in vegetation management at the new Red Mountain Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

 

 
 
2012 Intern, Hunter McBrayer, is a graduate in biology of the University of Alabama. Since his internship, he has worked full-time as a lab technician in the plant diagnostic laboratory of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System located at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
 
 

2011 Intern, Cameron Strauss, is an honors graduate in biology and environmental science of the University of Montevallo. Since her internship, she has worked full-time in plant propagation and nursery production, first in Oregon, then in Alabama. She manages her own business in clinical herbal medicine, about which she is professionally certified to teach and consult.

 
 
2010 Intern, Katie King, is a graduate in biology of Samford University. Since her internship, she completed a master’s degree in public garden leadership at Cornell University. She currently is a lab supervisor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  
 
2009 Intern, Steve Kennedy, is a graduate in biology of Miles College. Since his internship, he completed a master's degree in plant science from Tennessee State University, where he currently is a PhD candidate in agricultural science. His dissertation research is on blueberry physiology.
 
 

2008 Intern, Meghan McDonald, is an honors graduate in biology of Birmingham-Southern College. Since her internship, she completed her master's degree in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. She writes for the trade journal of the Shelton Group, a sustainability communications agency in Knoxville, TN., and freelances for a local magazine.

 

The Rotary Club of Shades Valley (RCSV) is funding a summer internship in 2014 for the seventh consecutive year at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a City of Birmingham facility. The internship is an excellent opportunity for a full-time college student or recent graduate to learn skills in applied horticulture and to gain practical experience toward a career in public horticulture. The intern will be employed by Birmingham Botanical Society, Inc., dba Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, an education-based non-profit organization that has partnered with the city for 50 years in the operation of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The intern will work under the supervision of a number of staff members of Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens (collectively, “Birmingham Botanical Gardens”) throughout the summer, but the principal contact will be the director of education at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.


The internship is open to a rising junior or senior attending a four-year college or university in Alabama full-time or to a recent graduate (within the last 12 months) of a two or four-year college in Alabama. It is also open to Alabama residents attending colleges outside the state. Preference will be given to students majoring in horticulture, landscape design, landscape architecture, biology, botany, ecology, plant science and environmental science or a closely related discipline, as determined by the director of education. Past interns have continued their educations in graduate school or they have become employed full-time in areas related to their internships.


The internship will begin in May, 2014 (the start date will depend on the availability of the intern) and will last 10-12 weeks (depending on the availability of the intern) at 40 hours per week. Eight-hour days will be from 7 or 8 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a non-paid hour break for lunch. Pay is fifteen dollars ($15) per hour for a maximum of $7,200 paid to the intern. Tools and rain and safety gear will be provided. The intern will be treated much as other employees, with the same expectations for proper dress, punctuality, work ethic and appropriate behavior, including safety awareness. The intern will participate in the annual staff summer “fun day” and the paid summer holidays, Memorial Day and Independence Day, will apply. The intern will attend a RCSV meeting in May, June and July and will be required to present a verbal summary of the internship experience accompanying a 15-minute slide presentation at a RCSV meeting in August.


Work and instruction will focus on disciplines central to public garden management and maintenance, including the principles of plant propagation, greenhouse and nursery production, planting, grounds maintenance, arboriculture, pest and weed management and the curatorial aspects of plant collections. Depending on the interests of the intern, work and instruction may include plant display design, library and archives, marketing, membership, fund raising, public relations, child and adult education, and visitor and volunteer programs. The intern will work in the various gardens at Birmingham Botanical Gardens: the Kaul Wildflower Garden, Hulsey Woods and Japanese Garden, Alabama Woodlands, Fern Glade, Iris and Lily Gardens, Rose Garden, Conservatory and greenhouses and in the administration building (Garden Center). The intern may be asked to mentor a high school intern for a portion of the summer (up to 240 hours) to provide the intern with some supervisory experience. The management of high school intern, however, will ultimately be the responsibility of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The intern also will be given time to attend relevant local meetings, events, lectures and field trips with staff. The intern also may work on an on-going project of his or her interest. The 2012 intern, for example, researched the propagation of a rare endemic Alabama fern; the 2013 intern studied the effectiveness of planting native trees in local parks. Time will be provided each week by Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff to instruct the intern on a tutorial basis.


Candidates must provide a 1-2 page resume, a statement in approximately 200 words of professional objectives regarding the internship and a reference from the candidate’s academic advisor (who is knowledgeable of his or her scholastic standing toward graduation) and are required to have proof of a valid driver’s license (exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis, for example, for disabled but otherwise qualified applicants). The internship is very competitive and candidates are encouraged to be thorough, detailed, grammatically accurate and concise with their applications. All materials must be received by 5 p.m., Friday, April 4, 2014. Materials may be submitted electronically or in hard copy. It is the candidate’s obligation to ensure the receipt of application materials by BBG by the deadline. Candidates may be asked to interview with representatives of Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the RCSV. A decision on the successful candidate will be made by 5 p.m., Friday, April 11, 2014.


Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens encourages any candidate who meets the qualifications above to apply. It is the policy of Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens to make all employment decisions including but not limited to recruiting, hiring, training, assignment, promotion, compensation, discipline and termination without unlawful regard for age, race, creed, color, religion, sex, orientation, disability, national origin, veteran status or exercising a protected right. Please note that candidates must be from Alabama and/or must have been enrolled in college in Alabama. Interns must be able to provide their own room and board and transportation.


Please send application materials or requests for more information to:


Henry Hughes
Director of Education
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
2612 Lane Park Road
Birmingham, AL 25223
205.414.3951
hhughes@bbgardens.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Louise Agee Wrinkle Native Plant Internship
Supported by the Little Garden Club

 

The Little Garden Club of Birmingham, AL, is funding an internship in 2014 for the first time at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a City of Birmingham facility. The internship is an excellent opportunity for a full-time college student or recent graduate to learn skills in applied horticulture and to gain practical experience toward a career in public horticulture, with an emphasis on native plants of the southeastern United States. The intern will be employed by Birmingham Botanical Society, Inc., dba Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, an education-based non-profit organization that has partnered with the city for 50 years in the operation of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The intern will work under the supervision of the Curator of the Kaul Wildflower Garden for the duration of the internship, but the principal contact will be the director of education at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The internship is open to a rising junior or senior attending a four-year college or university full-time or to a recent graduate (within the last 12 months) of a two or four-year college. Preference will be given to students majoring in horticulture, landscape design, landscape architecture, biology, botany, ecology, plant science and environmental science or a closely related discipline, as determined by the director of education.

Starting and ending dates for this internship are flexible based on the availability of the intern but will last 10-12 consecutive weeks at 40 hours per week. Eight-hour days will be from 7 or 8 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a non-paid hour break for lunch. Pay is fifteen dollars ($15) per hour for a maximum of $7,200 paid to the intern. Tools and rain and safety gear will be provided. The intern will be treated much as other employees, with the same expectations for proper dress, punctuality, work ethic and appropriate behavior, including safety awareness. The intern will participate in staff meetings, outings and paid holidays that occur during their internship.

Work and instruction will center on the study of native plants of the southeastern United States and may focus on disciplines central to public garden management and maintenance, including the principles of plant propagation, greenhouse and nursery production, planting, grounds maintenance, arboriculture, pest and weed management and the curatorial aspects of plant collections. Depending on the interests of the intern, work and instruction may include plant display design, library and archives, marketing, membership, fund raising, public relations, child and adult education, and visitor and volunteer programs. The intern will work in various gardens at Birmingham Botanical Gardens with native plant collections: the Kaul Wildflower Garden, Barber Alabama Woodlands, Bog Gardens and others. The intern may be asked to work alongside other interns as time allows.


The intern also will be given time to attend relevant local meetings, events, lectures and field trips with staff. The intern also may work on an on-going project of his or her interest. Time will be provided each week by Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff to instruct the intern on a tutorial basis.

Candidates must provide a 1-2 page resume, a statement in approximately 200 words of professional objectives regarding the internship, a reference from his or her academic advisor (who is knowledgeable of the candidate’s scholastic standing toward graduation) and are required to have proof of a valid driver’s license (exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis, for example, for disabled but otherwise qualified applicants). The internship is very competitive and candidates are encouraged to be thorough, detailed, grammatically accurate and concise with their applications. All materials must be received by 5 p.m., Friday, March 21, 2014. If a suitable candidate is not found by that date, we will accept applications until one is. Materials may be submitted electronically or in hard copy. It is the candidate’s obligation to ensure the receipt of application materials by Birmingham Botanical Gardens by the deadline. Candidates may be asked to interview with representatives of Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens encourages any candidate who meets the qualifications above to apply. It is the policy of Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens to make all employment decisions including but not limited to recruiting, hiring, training, assignment, promotion, compensation, discipline and termination without unlawful regard for age, race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, veteran status or exercising a protected right. Interns must be able to provide their own room, board and transportation.

Please send application materials or requests for more information to:

Henry Hughes
Director of Education
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
2612 Lane Park Road
Birmingham, AL 25223
205.414.3951
hhughes@bbgardens.org