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Job Board

Plant Records Curation and Mapping Intern

Denver Botanic Gardens

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 a Plant Records Curation and Mapping 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 the Plant Records team, this intern will assist in curation of the diverse living plant collections at Denver Botanic Gardens though databasing, mapping, labeling and documenting bloom times through both digital photography and record updates. The intern will be assigned a garden as the main project area but will work within several other gardens throughout the duration of the internship, being exposed to the different elements that make up the living collections as well as many of the different team members in Horticulture. Past intern experiences have centered on areas such as the new Freyer-Newman Center, the Steppe Garden, the Ellipse Garden, and the O’Fallon Perennial Walk.

This year’s main project will be the Roads Water-Smart Garden. Established in 1995 and created in cooperation with Denver Water, this garden emphasizes drought tolerant plantings and showcases xeric plants of local origin as well as those of similar arid climates worldwide. The garden has an explosion of color beginning in spring and persisting throughout summer. It provides year-round appeal by emphasizing the form and texture of many evergreen plants and uses interesting forms, foliage, and seed heads to prolong its visual appeal long into the winter.

Background: Denver Botanic Gardens is an accredited museum with over 14,000 taxa of living plants; as such, we keep detailed records of our collections by mapping and updating our extensive database. We also install display labels for the public. Collections have been mapped since 2002 in the BG-Map system which works in conjunction with Auto-CAD. These collections are viewable to the public online through the Gardens Navigator website. Successful interns in Plant Records Curation have had varied backgrounds, from Landscape Architecture or Design to Botany.


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:

  • Working alongside horticulture staff and plant records staff, accurately inventory and map plants of project garden and other gardens
  • Update records in BG-BASE to reflect current collections in project garden and other gardens
  • Install accession and display labels in various gardens as needed
  • Presentation to staff and blog post detailing the project and what was learned at the end of the season

Skills that will be learned or refined:

  • BG-BASE and BG-Map computer systems for databasing and mapping
  • Basic Auto-CAD for basemap updates
  • Plant identification using multiple resources, including dichotomous keys, for a diverse collection of plant species, both common and uncommon in cultivation.
  • Research of nomenclature using botanic publications and resources
  • Digital photography of living plant collections
  • Working independently and in a team setting
  • Critical thinking skills

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

  • Plant identification across a wide range of plant types and garden styles
  • Basic surveying skills and techniques for mapping plants and hardscape areas
  • An understanding of the importance of curation in a public garden
  • Hands-on use of BG-BASE, BG-Map and Auto-CAD

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:

Cindy Newlander is the Associate Director of Horticulture and leads the Plant Records team. In this role she has strived to inventory, map and label DBG’s diverse plant collections since 2002, while also improving the database to allow for sharing of plant collections data to the public through the Gardens Navigator website. She holds an MS in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware’s Longwood Graduate Program and a BS in Horticulture with a Landscape Design option from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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.

Holly Haynes is the Plant Mapping Coordinator and has been with Denver Botanic Gardens since 2018. She completed her AAS in Horticulture & Landscape Technologies from Front Range Community College, after her internship with the Plant Records team at Denver Botanic Gardens, and holds a BFA from University of North Texas. She previously worked for a design/build firm in the Colorado Front Range.


· 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