Natural Areas Stewardship Intern

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How to Apply

Applications are welcomed and encouraged from all qualified individuals regardless of background and identity. A one-page cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline experience that directly relates to it. 


This is a student summer internship position with Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. The Natural Areas Stewardship Intern will work with our natural areas specialist using ecological restoration techniques to care for the unique ecosystems found on over 800 acres of natural areas on our four properties. The internship program runs May 6 through late August and includes some evening and weekend hours. 

Who We Are

University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum (MBGNA) stewards over 840 acres of land and water across four properties in and around Ann Arbor, with Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens serving as its two anchor locations. Click here to view our Strategic Plan. With more than 500,000 annual visitors, MBGNA is committed to becoming a transformative force for social and ecological resilience through the lands and waters we steward. We put that commitment into action by:  

  • Positioning humans as active participants within the natural world and compelling the university community and our publics to negotiate the full complexity that entails
  • Advancing partnerships, programs, user experience, and all that we steward to catalyze equity and justice in a radically changing world
  • Emerging as University of Michigan's premier partner for research, teaching, and public impact in sustainability, climate-forward practices, and biocultural diversity
  • Promoting healthier communities, cultures, and ecosystems through active care and cultivation of the gardens, fields, natural habitats, and dynamic systems that sustain our world.

MBGNA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan and sustain the excellence of University of Michigan.


  • Using power equipment, herbicides, and other techniques to control exotic invasive plants.
  • Scouting and collection of native plant seeds. 
  • Survey for important conservation targets (eastern massasauga rattlesnake) and threats (new occurrences of exotic invasive species).

Required Qualifications*

  • Graduated high school and currently enrolled in a college/university by the internship start date of May 6, 2024, or a December 2023 or spring 2024 college or university graduate.
  • Hands on experience with tools and equipment 
  • Plant ID skills - native and exotic invasive
  • GIS data collection and management
  • Teamwork, leadership and communication
  • These positions may require a valid driver's license and a motor vehicle record check in order to operate MBGNA vehicles.

Additional Information

  • In-person positions are for May-August, 40 hours/week. There are opportunities for candidates interested in part-time work: please note this in your cover letter. 
  • Positions will be based at both Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, requiring travel between locations, plus several trips to two other MBGNA remote locations.
  • Compensation: $15.00/hour
  • Occasional evening or weekend work may be required.
  • Multiple positions
  • For more information about Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, please visit

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.