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Job Board

Invasive Species Mapping and Data Collection Intern

Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver
Intern
Posted December 5, 2022

About Denver Botanic Gardens: Green inside and out, Denver Botanic Gardens was founded in 1951 and is considered one of the top botanical gardens in the United States and a pioneer in water conservation. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, The Gardens has a robust living plant collection, natural history collection and art collection along with temporary art exhibitions. The Gardens is a dynamic, 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city, offering unforgettable opportunities to flourish with unique garden experiences for the whole family – as well as world-class exhibitions, education, and plant conservation research programs.

For more information, visit us online at www.botanicgardens.org.

Denver Botanic Gardens is currently seeking an Invasive Species Mapping and Data Collection Intern in our Horticulture Department! Read below to see if the requirements might be a good fit for you:

To be considered, please submit your application before Monday, February 6th, 2023.

Position Summary and Goals:

Working with staff from Plant Records, Horticulture, and Research & Conservation, the intern will assist in launching a new initiative at Denver Botanic Gardens: assessing which introduced ornamental plant species are exhibiting early warning signs of becoming invasive. The intern will ensure that taxa on the Gardens’ Sentinel List (a list of taxa spreading from locations of cultivation) are accessioned, mapped, photographed, and vouchered; The intern will also collect data on reproduction and spread and will rank taxa accordingly. The rankings will ultimately guide policy decisions around species on the Sentinel List.

Background:

The living collections at Denver Botanic Gardens are some of the most diverse in North America. To further the goal of diverse collections, the Gardens engages in seed collecting expeditions to other regions of the world, collaborates with other gardens through the Plant Collecting Collaborative (PCC), partners with Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) to obtain plant material from Argentina, and participates in the exchange of seed through Index Seminum. Through Plant Select®, the Gardens furthers its mission of connecting people with plants by introducing regionally appropriate ornamental plants to the nursery trade.

Recently, the Gardens has become increasingly committed to the role it can serve in mitigating the introduction of invasive species, which are defined as species that are not native to the location being considered and whose presence and spread negatively impact ecological, economic, or human health, or are likely to. Some invasive species are unintentionally introduced, while others are intentionally introduced for agriculture, forestry, or the ornamental plant trade. Research over the past two decades demonstrates that the ornamental plant trade, including botanic gardens, is a pathway of invasive species. To address this, the Gardens has been developing a Sentinel Plant list of species exhibiting early warning signs of becoming invasive. Currently, the Gardens is collecting data on these species, which will be shared with other public gardens. Eventually, findings will be shared with the nursery and horticulture industries with the goal of early detection and rapid response.

Requirements

Internship Highlights:

Interns will take part in field trips, lectures, and group projects. We at Denver Botanic Gardens feel strongly that there is no substitute for hands-on learning so in addition to the project and participating in the learning opportunities.

Interns are expected to work alongside their mentors and other horticulturists in the Gardens. This will include participating in the daily activities associated with public garden maintenance – weeding, watering, planting, accessioning, preparing for special events, etc.

The goal of the internship is to provide an overview of public horticulture as well as useful experience in a specific area which can help students define their interests in horticulture. As a member of DBG’s staff, interns will participate in employee meetings and other day-to-day operations and will be subject to all DBG employment policies.

In Denver temperatures can reach a sizzling 100° in mid-summer, while temperatures at our Mt. Goliath site can drop into the 50’s. Humidity is very low here, however, there are occasional days of rain or drizzle. Interns should be prepared to work in these environmental extremes as the work site is primarily outdoors.

Regular attendance at the worksite may be required. As with all positions at Denver Botanic Gardens, the incumbent must be in good performance standing to be eligible for remote work. Remote work is at the discretion of management at all times.

All Gardens employees must be committed to the mission of connecting people with plants, especially plants from the Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world, providing delight and enlightenment to everyone.

General Duties and Responsibilities/Deliverables

  • Ensure taxa on Sentinel List are accessioned and mapped
  • Collect data on reproduction and spread
  • Photograph plants for educational purposes and upload those images to BG-BASE
  • Voucher taxa on list to confirm identifications and document locations
  • Use iNaturalist to report species escaping from cultivation
  • Give a presentation to staff and write a blog post detailing the project and what was learned

Skills that will be learned or refined:

  • BG-BASE and BG-Map computer systems for databasing and mapping
  • Plant identification
  • Photography of plants
  • Herbarium vouchering
  • Data collection

Horticultural knowledge that will be learned and how this project will link classroom theory with practical experience:

  • Documenting plants through BG-MAP/AutoCAD, BG-BASE, and digital photography
  • Plant identification
  • Collaboration across different departments
  • Education/communication about a sensitive, yet important topic

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Candidates must be currently authorized to work in the United States
  • Candidates must be currently enrolled in an academic program or have graduated within the last six months.
  • Applicants must upload a job application, resume, cover letter, transcript(s) and two reference letters to be considered.
  • Must have proven excellent customer service, interpersonal, and communication skills in dealing with the public.
  • Ability to maintain stability under pressure and able to deal well with stressful situations.
  • Ability to be flexible and willing to modify plans when necessary, throughout the day.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends and/or holidays.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Suite products, specifically Word, Excel and Outlook and Teams.
  • Ability to work overtime as necessary.
  • Must be a positive representative of the Gardens both internally and externally at all times.
  • Must work with respect and cooperation at all times with fellow employees and the public.
  • Must be committed to working safely at all times.

Mentor Profiles:

Jen Toews is the Plant Records Coordinator at Denver Botanic Gardens, where she has worked since 2015. In this role, she helps document the living collections at the Gardens through database curation, photography, and mapping. Other focuses include western native plants, their use in landscaping, and invasive species. She is a coauthor of the field guide Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountain Region (2018), is a Colorado Native Plant Master, and leads wildflower identification hikes in the Front Range. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and biology and a master’s degree in English.

Chrissy Alba is an Assistant Research Scientist at Denver Botanic Gardens, where she has worked since 2017. She studies the ecological processes that shape plant diversity and distributions across various scales of organization–from individual plants, to populations, to entire communities. She has studied how biological invasions, grazing, drought, fire, and rapid adaptation to novel environments affect plant biodiversity. At Denver Botanic Gardens, she combines complementary sampling approaches from different disciplines—including collections-based botanical floristics and quantitative plant ecology—to improve our understanding of what factors shape plant biodiversity in Colorado. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English, and master’s and PhD degrees in ecology.

Mike Kintgen has been passionate about plants since a very young age and involved with Denver Botanic Gardens also from a rather young age. His interests include alpine and rock garden plants but extend to almost anything that has chlorophyll. Mike has a bachelor’s degree in landscape horticulture from CSU and is currently involved in the North American Rock Garden Society, American Penstemon Society and several other national and international plant societies. He is a popular lecturer both nationally and internationally. Recently he completed a master’s degree in alpine ecology at Regis University and is attempting to make living collections better represent natural ecosystems.

 

· Effective immediately, Denver Botanic Gardens will require new employees to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or request a variance for medical or religious reasons (please contact Human Resources for the necessary forms if you wish to apply for an exemption).  Please provide proof of your vaccination to orientation.

To be considered, please submit your application before Monday, February 6th, 2023.

Come work for a place that offers you SO much more than just a paycheck!

Compensation: $17.85 per hour

Apply Here