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Greenhouse Production Intern
Category: Horticulture

The North Carolina Arboretum
Asheville, North Carolina

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013


Olmsted Fellow Internship

Position Announcement: Greenhouse Production Intern


Olmsted Fellow Internship Program

The Olmsted Fellow Internship Program is a prestigious opportunity for selected undergraduate and graduate students in a wide variety of academic fields to gain valuable, on-site experience at one of America's leading public gardens. The experiences may entail responsibilities in research, economic development, design, horticulture, conservation, public relations, marketing, environmental stewardship and sustainability, and other facets of the Arboretum's mission areas. Selected through a review process that incorporates such criteria as academic performance, demonstrated ability to achieve goals, leadership potential, and sound character, Olmsted Fellows are capable of developing and utilizing advanced skill sets that result in personal and professional growth potential, as well as contribute value to Arboretum priorities and service.


Position Description: Greenhouse Production Intern

This internship represents an excellent opportunity to gain real life experience in plant production in a greenhouse and nursery facility. These facilities are used to produce plants for exhibits indoors as well as outdoors. Responsibilities will include assistance in plant maintenance, greenhouse maintenance, exhibit curation including the perennial border, cutting garden and exhibit greenhouse, planting seasonal exhibit containers and evaluating plant performance.

This position reports directly to the Production Manager and will also work closely with the Greenhouse Assistant.


Responsibilities include:

Plant propagation

Potting plants, transplanting seedlings

Watering and fertilizing

Insect scouting

Insect/disease control to include pesticide applications and releasing beneficial insects

Greenhouse sanitation to include disinfecting pots/flats and cleaning greenhouse floors and drains

Curation of Baker Greenhouse exhibit

Assistance with interior plantscapes

Assist in nursery with plant care

Record keeping

Nutritional monitoring of crops

Assist in the perennial border and cut flower garden

Assist with event setup when horticultural displays are required



Lifting, bending, stooping, standing and working long periods in heat or humid greenhouses

Assist with loading and unloading plants

Daily interface with volunteers

Daily interface with guests


Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the internship, the intern will have gained enough hands on experience to be successful in a grower position, a plant curator, or as a garden center associate.

Upon completion of the independent project, the intern will have an awareness of plant companies, plant performance and genetics, project management experience and basic gardening skills.

Upon completion of the internship, the greenhouse intern will gain experience in nutritional monitoring of crops, diagnostics of crop problems, insect scouting and releasing beneficial insects. Use of proper nomenclature is essential in an arboretum and will be required in this position for labeling and record keeping.


Independent Project:

The North Carolina Arboretum maintains informal trial gardens to evaluate new annuals and perennials being introduced by plant hybridization companies. This intern will assist in preparing planting areas and installing plants to be trialed for the 2013 season. Data will be collected on performance of each variety and photographs will be taken to help document the performance. The intern will help prepare a final report for each company represented. A camera and computer will be furnished by the Arboretum. An average of 16 hours per week will be dedicated to this project, which may include sowing the seeds, transplanting and installing into final destinations. Curation of the planting areas will include, but not be limited to, soil testing, bed preparation, weed control, watering, fertilization and general plant maintenance.



Completion of the first two years of college, preferably in horticulture or a closely related field

Basic knowledge of greenhouse operations

Basic knowledge of gardening with annuals and perennials

Demonstrated leadership ability

Strong interpersonal skills

Ability to be a self-starter and work independently or on a team

Ability to work under tight deadlines and adverse conditions

Must be detail oriented, organized and reliable

Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office and Excel

Ability to work with a diverse group and to politely engage with Arboretum guests


Physical Requirements:

Excellent physical health and stamina

Ability to lift and carry up to 50 lbs occasionally, up to 30 lbs frequently, and up to 10 lbs constantly. Ability to stand for long periods of time

Ability to work in all types of weather conditions, including heat, humidity and rain


A competitive process will be applied to intern selection through submitted application and interview.


Hours: 40 hrs per week, Mon. – Fri. 7:00am – 3:30pm


Pay: $9.00 per hour with the potential of earning 3 credit hours or equivalent based on University policy. Internship credit is available subject to approval by your educational institution.


Duration of Assignment: 12 weeks, preferably in June-August. Attendance mandatory.


Requirement: A Background check will be required for the prevailing candidate


Location: The work site is located at The North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, NC. Intern must provide own housing and transportation.


To Apply: The application package will consist of a NC State application (available at, cover letter, resume, official transcript, and two letters of recommendation. All application materials and reference letters should be mailed or delivered to:

Olmsted Fellow Internship Coordinator

The North Carolina Arboretum

100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way

Asheville, North Carolina 28806-9315

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