The Program

Unique experiences with federal agencies

The Conservation and Land Management Program (CLM), a partnership between the Chicago Botanic Garden and several federal and non-federal partners, places early-career scientists in seasonal, salaried positions to assist professional biologists or independently complete land management and conservation projects. Participants are provided real-world experience through hands-on training by the Chicago Botanic Garden, or partner botanists, ecologists, and wildlife biologists.

How it works

Funded by assistance agreements and contracts

For our internships, agencies form an assistance agreement with CBG, and then government staff can request to mentor interns under the agreement.

For our more independent roles, agencies request specific work through a contract, and CBG works to fill positions and complete requested deliverables.

Recruitment and hiring

CBG recruits and places recent college graduates and young professionals in positions to succeed and gain the necessary experience to further their career.

Program Goals

Train the next generation of conservation scientists and land managers

Training and onboarding are provided at the week-long CLM Training Workshop held annually. Training sessions may include graduate school preparation, conservation genetics, the Seeds of Success protocol, western US flora and ecology, plant identification, plant population monitoring, and more

Expose interns to careers in land management and conservation

Interns gain a wide variety of experiences at their offices as they help staff biologists with long-term projects and gain first-hand experience working in a federal or NGO environment

Ensure networking opportunities

Interns network with partner organizations and within their office while gaining valuable work experience. Program alumni go on to work for federal agencies, NGOs, and pursue graduate degrees

Provide opportunities to historically excluded groups in the natural sciences

The CLM program has committed to recruiting and hiring Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as interns from other traditionally underrepresented groups in the applied ecology field. The CLM program also works to ensure interns feel safe and supported, even though they are not working onsite at the Chicago Botanic Garden