Additional Opportunities for Students

Opportunities for internships may be competitive and may not be available each quarter.

Preference is given to UCSC students, but there have also been some internships by local community college and out of state students. There are no fees to pay to the Arboretum, but students provide their own housing, etc.

Environmental Studies internships usually are 5 units and usually are for upper division credit ES 183 or ES 181. They may be in general horticulture and/or horticultural research. Other options include horticulture with a focus on native plants, or horticulture with a focus on habitat restoration. Inquire in the environmental studies internship office about their forms and requirements and then talk to Arboretum staff. Also see courses in the UCSC General Catalog, Fields of Study.

Rare and endangered plants internships for upper division students in biology or environmental studies. These may include biological or ecological studies, GIS mapping, evaluation of threats, how to propagate, or other research on rare species.

Botanical research, especially systematics of succulent plants of California (biology department, EEB) 5 units, upper division only.

Plant sciences internships for 5 units - a wide range of possible internships are available for upper division students.

Environmental education internships. These are generally in the spring through the Environmental Interpretation class. Duties include leading tours for school children or conducting school visits. Basic botany background required e.g. bio 20 C or Plants and Human Affairs or the Cabrillo botany course or equivalent education.

Internships as part of a placement from habitat restoration classes in the fall. Talk to the professor about placements.

Those interested in the Carbon Fund Project at the Arboretum 2011-2012 should contact Stephen McCabe smccabe@ucsc.edu

Warming Climate? Dr. Michael Loik and his students from Plant Physiological Ecology (Environmental Studies 162) set up an experiment in the Arboretum grasslands in spring 2011 to see if vegetation composition, soil carbon, and rates of photosynthesis change in a warming climate. It is outside of our main fences, but on Arboretum lands. Interns are measuring soil water content and soil temperature using small, automated sensors. They are also monitoring grass photosynthesis at monthly intervals.

As Loik described it, “We have installed five plastic shelters that are hexagonal in shape, and approximately 2.5 m across and 0.5 m tall, made of transparent plastic… They will warm the grasses and soils (in a passive manner, so no electricity is required) by an amount similar to what climate models envision for CA by the year 2050.”

Loik plans to leave the experiment going indefinitely, allowing successive classes of students to get experience taking these types of measurements, look at differences between the data from heated treatments vs. the controls, track changes over time, and see what conclusions can be made. Because California's coastal prairies are one of our nation's hotspots of biodiversity, understanding the impacts of climate change on invasive species and carbon dynamics is an important way to help manage these ecosystems.

Students interested in this research should take his classes or contact Dr. Michael Loik. mloik@ucsc.edu

Science illustration internships. Portfolio and letters of recommendation required.

Science writing internships. Portfolio and letters of recommendation required.

Two previous interns have just started PhD. programs in ecology.