Student opportunities

at the Arboretum include

  • volunteering
  • internships
  • work-study positions
  • free lectures
  • research
  • weeding
  • use of the Lane Library at the Arboretum

Internships and volunteer positions provide an opportunity to learn in a wonderful environment and to enjoy the camaraderie of the student group working and volunteering at the Arboretum. Because of the quality of the collections and the beauty of the site, visitors come from many countries each year to see the gardens. Attend the lecture series or pot-luck slide shows for additional educational experiences in a friendly environment. Energetic, self-starting students are ideal for these positions.
Opportunities for internships may be competitive and may not be available each quarter.

Volunteering: Usually a 3-hour minimum for a shift and at least two shifts a month. Or you may just volunteer on the events that appeal to you, for example at a plant sale or concert. Employment: Link to Campus Student Employment Page Work-study. If you can arrange work-study as part of your financial aid packet you may apply. First year students are also encouraged to apply. Donors please contact us if you wish to sponsor a student or follow this link and make a donation to the Arboretum now.

Non-work study: We sometimes offer a few positions to UCSC students who do not have work-study status.

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 at

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.

Science illustration internships. Portfolio and letters of recommendation required.

Science writing internships. Portfolio and letters of recommendation required.

Interns and work study students have gone on to graduate work in various fields of science and/or careers in science, education, conservation, or the horticultural industry.

Biology, Ecology, and Science Education

Various classes may take tours, have labs, or do projects at the Arboretum (now or in the past), including Biology 20B and C, Plant Ecology, Ecological Physiology, Illustration, Painting, Horticulture, Dance, Theater, Sculpture, Systematics, Science Education, and others.