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About CLM

Internship Benefits

The CLM Internship Program has numerous benefits, which include:

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


Internship Details

Each year, 75-100 college graduates take part the CLM Internship Program. Internships generally last for five months and are paid (see below).

Internship Stipend

Interns receive a stipend of $13,420 ($15.25/hour; before taxes) for each five-month internship, paid every 2 weeks. Most internships last 5 months (110 workdays or 880 hours).

Background Education / Experience

Our interns have degrees and/or experience in, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Biology
  • Botany
  • Zoology (Fisheries, Ornithology, Mammalogy, etc.)
  • Ecology & Evolution
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Science
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Entomology
  • Forestry
  • Recreation Management


Internship Locations

In 2017, approximately 100-120internships will be based in the western US (AK, AZ, CA, CO, ID, OR, MT, NM, NV, UT, WA, and WY) and 5-10 positions will be based on the East Coast (MA, NY, and NC).

The federal agencies we partner with include the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS), U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and others. Non-profit partners include the New England Wild Flower Society, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank, North Carolina Botanical Garden and the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank.


Internship Responsibilities

As an intern, you will assist in a wide variety of projects determined by the needs of your mentor and assigned Field Office. Most internships include work in botany or wildlife-related fields that may include monitoring and assessing threatened/endangered species and habitats. Interns have worked in biology-related fields i.e., fire ecology, fisheries, livestock utilization, and native plant materials. A few internships have focused on archeology, planning and recreation. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data have been an important component of numerous projects. Approximately 40-50% of all interns participate in the Seeds of Success (SOS) Program. To learn more about SOS please visit

Most interns will attend the CLM Training Workshop, please see below, CLM Training Workshop.

For more information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.


CLM Training Workshop

Most interns attend the CLM Training Workshop, typically held in June each year. The 2017 Workshop will be held at the Chicago Botanic Garden June 12-16. Details for attendees will be forthcoming in April and May!

The intensive all-expenses paid, one-week Training Workshop prepares interns for their respective internships by providing an overview of the agencies, policies and expectations, as well as serving as refresher courses in their field of expertise. Each intern will participate in workshop sessions that provide background information on topics related to those they are likely to encounter during their internship experience. Since the workshop is typically held at the end of June, some interns will have spent a few weeks in their internship prior to attending while others will attend the workshop before their internship starts.

Benefits of the Training Workshop are numerous and provide a great opportunity to connect with other interns! These Workshops are led by experts in their field and cover topics including the following: 

  • Introduction to federal land management agencies
  • Plant Monitoring & Inventorying
  • Botany of the West
  • Seeds of Success, seed collecting demo & data entry
  • Conservation Genetics
  • The Mentor Experience - What to expect from your mentor, what your mentor expects from you
  • The Intern Experience - What to expect from your internship

The Chicago Botanic Garden is proud to partner with the federal agencies involved to offer this unique internship opportunity.  With its world-renowned plant collections and displays, it is one of the country's most visited public gardens and a preeminent center for learning and scientific research.