Position description

The Learning by Leading™ (LxL) internship model at Cornell Botanic Gardens seeks to build a network of dynamic student-led teams — supported by the Gardens’ staff and resources — who are passionate about environmental issues, skilled in collaboration and communication, and capable of creative problem-solving. The Garden Ambassadors team is dedicated to outreach, engagement, and informal education. Other LxL teams at Cornell Botanic Gardens are the Sustainable Landscapes team, focused on stewardship of the natural areas managed by the Gardens, and the Horticultural Enterprises team, specializing in plant propagation and sales.

Eligibility and Qualifications

  • Must be a full time, undergraduate Cornell University student. Preference is for first- and second-year students;
  • All majors and fields of study are encouraged to apply;
  • Experience with or interest in engaging with diverse audiences of youth, student, and adult learners;
  • Experience with or interest in environmental communication and/or environmental teaching and engagement in an informal setting

Position details

  • The Garden Ambassadors team is composed of a Staff Mentor (Kevin Moss), two Student Team Leads (Nola Rettenmaier and Jakara Zellner) and Team Members. For this application cycle, we are looking for two new Team Members (the team already has three members).
  • This position is unpaid. Hours may count towards volunteer hours for Cornell Tradition, APO, etc. After completing two semesters as a Team Member, you will be eligible to apply for Team Lead, a paid position.
  • The position is 3-5 hours/week. Hours will consist of weekly team meetings, programs, and time spent outside of meetings working on projects.
  • The commitment for this role is two semesters, but team members may continue beyond that point.
  • Specific projects and tasks will be determined by the Garden Ambassadors Team; possible projects include developing programs geared towards engagement and informal education (interactive displays, workshops, hands-on activities), planning and executing events (webinars, tours, open houses, etc.), developing content for the Garden Stories project, maintaining and developing new installations for the Gratitude Project, taking shifts to supervise the Herb Garden Discovery Table, greeting and assisting visitors in the Botanic Gardens and at the front desk, long-term planning for future tours and events.

To Apply

Fill out the application that can be found on Handshake, at https://cornell.joinhandshake.com/jobs/5158228/.

For further information and questions, contact Kevin Moss (km274@cornell.edu).

Application deadline is Monday, September 6, 2021. Download the description here.

More information about some of our current projects:

The Garden Stories project was created to showcase the experiences and perspectives of staff, faculty and students connected to Cornell Botanic Gardens. By sharing these stories via digital media, we hope to highlight the role of the Gardens in promoting growth, inspiration, and connection for the Cornell community. Stories are posted to the Botanic Gardens’ website.

The Gratitude Project was envisioned as a temporary interactive installation aimed at encouraging reflection and expressions of gratitude during this time. The first installation is located in the Pounder Vegetable Garden and encourages visitors to reflect on their own unique relationship with plants and the natural world. We hope to expand this project to include multiple installations throughout the Botanic Gardens and Arboretum. The installations are intended to be an extension of the landscape and the messages that individuals leave behind develop a patina/fade over time.

The Herb Garden Discovery Table is part of a mini-series of programs celebrating the Robison Herb Garden (previous installments were a webinar on lavender and a tour of the herb garden). The table gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the herbs featured in the garden through crafts and other hands-on activities, interpretive materials on the history of the herb garden, and handouts (such as recipes and craft instructions). Like the Gratitude Project, the discovery table has the potential to evolve, through showcasing a new herb every month and featuring different crafts, activities and printed materials.

Check out other opportunities!

Apply by March 5, 2023

Team Co-Leader, Horticultural Enterprises Team

Learn the practice of and gain experience in plant propagation and cultivation for plant sales.

Private: Summer Internship

Our summer internship program provides an educational and work experience involving hands-on training that builds on classroom learning.

Not taking applications

Team Co-Leader, Sustainable Landscape Team

Collaborate with our horticulture and natural areas staff to design, develop, install and maintain sustainable landscapes.