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Conservation and Land Management Internship Program

2021 CLM internship opportunities are listed below.

To apply, please send the following application materials directly to Chris Woolridge at:

 - Cover letter, resume, contact information for three references


Agency: US Forest Service - Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Location: Sparks, NV

Start date range: 4/15 - 6/21

Description: Recruiting one Native Seed Intern to conduct field surveys and seed collecting throughout the state of Nevada and parts of Eastern California.
Primary Responsibilities include:
• Scouting and identifying populations of target native plant species suitable for the program;
• Monitoring and maintenance of reciprocal transplant study plots; 
• GPS mapping populations of plants, disturbance areas, and other features;
• Monitoring the phenology of plant populations to identify optimal seed collection times;
• Collecting seed from plant populations and completing data forms in accordance with the Seeds of Success (SOS) Technical Protocol;
• Taking herbarium vouchers, and processing and shipping seed as necessary.
• Recording data electronically and on paper data forms, entering and editing data related to restoration activities;
• Reporting accomplishments and providing recommendations for program improvements, priorities, and future projects.


Agency: US Forest Service - Rocky Mountain Research Station

Location: Alamogordo, NM

Start date range: 5/17 - 5/31

Description: As part of the effort to develop habitat suitability models for rare plant species in the southwestern U.S., the RMRS is recruiting two interns to help conduct surveys for rare plants in the summer of 2021 to validate model results and identify existing or new populations of rare plants. In addition, some species surveys will be timed at blooming and again later in the season later to give us time steps for phenology description and the later season plant community description. Surveys will also provide us with the opportunity to seed bank sites and/or identify sites that need seed banking before ground disturbing activities.

We will focus this initial effort within the Southwestern Region (R3) which contains some of the most floristically diverse states in the nation. R3 National Forests cover Arizona and New Mexico, ranked 3rd and 4th in plant diversity, respectively. R3 National Forests are also an area of early design and initial pilot work on landscape scale forest restoration projects, providing defined projects that face the challenges of integrating fine scale stewardship (i.e. rare plant conservation) within coarse scale landscape treatments (fuel reduction).

We plan to implement these surveys with a core 2-person team and tentative additional part time contractors. The primary duties of team members will include:
1) Completing USDA mandated driver, CPR, and other training
2) Using maps, GPS units, and other means to locate survey sites
3) Building competency in recognition of the suite of target plant species for surveys, and appropriate documentation of site characteristics
4) Following established protocols to conduct plant surveys and identify seed bank sources in target areas
5) Keeping meticulous records and field notes
6) Backing up data and maintain records according to established protocols
7) Following established safety protocols
Team members will gain experience with biological field survey methods and knowledge of southwestern flora, will participate in an interdisciplinary group including RMRS scientists, Regional and National Forest botanists, fire ecologists, and other resource managers, and will contribute to an effort critical to Forest Service management objectives.


Agency: US Forest Service - Ottawa National Forest

Location: Ironwood, MI

Start date range: 5/24 - 6/7/21

Description: The Ottawa National Forest is seeking two invasive plant interns to find and control invasive plants throughout 1 million acres of public land in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the 2021 field season. We’ve identified over 700 acres of priority invasive plants from different terrestrial habitats that we want to remove from the landscape before they cause any more harm to our native flora. Work will include hand pulling, digging, cutting, and herbicide application to several non-native species, including garlic mustard, purple loosestrife, Japanese barberry, exotic honeysuckle, and exotic buckthorns. Interns will be issued and trained to use GPS units, maps, and written details to locate known sites of target species. Interns will keep detailed records of work accomplished and new infestations discovered. The interns may assist with entering infestation data into spreadsheets and ArcMap tables.  

Interns may also assist with other projects/crews, including native plant seed collection, native species planting for site restoration, surveys for rare and protected plant species, and snorkeling and pulling Eurasian watermilfoil. There may be opportunities to cross train with a fisheries or monitoring crew, tour a Forest Service tree nursery, or to complete a small research project if needed for a college course. Interns will receive training in field radio use, defensive driving, and other topics.


The Chicago Botanic Garden stands firmly opposed to systemic and institutional racism. We passionately believe that Black lives matter. We recognize that people of color often feel unwelcome in public spaces, including gardens, forest preserves, and parks. The Chicago Botanic Garden acknowledges that we can do more to address this within our own organization. We recommit ourselves to live our mission and values as we strive to make the Chicago Botanic Garden a welcoming place for everyone.

The Conservation and Land Management (CLM) internship program places early-career scientists in five-month paid internships to assist professional biologists with land management and conservation projects. Since 2001, the CLM program has successfully placed over 1350 interns, providing them with a rich experience from which to launch their professional careers. 


CLM Internship Benefits 
CLM internships are paid internships! ​
 Explore your career goals and expand your resume 
Experience new landscapes, habitats, and species diversity in the beautiful western US
Make connections in various governmental and non-profit organizations
Learn what it's like to work at a federal agency
Apply your education to important conservation projects

Most of our internships are located in the western US, where the majority of public land occurs. Federal partners include the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. D. A. Forest Service, U.S. Geologic Survey, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others. Non-profit partners include the the Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank and the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank.​

Click here to read more about our internshi​ps!


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call 847-835-8264 to contact our Title IX Coordinator should you have questions or concerns.