Learning by Leading Program

Support our
Annual Appeal

With your help we are cultivating leaders to enhance the environment through our Learning by Leading Program. To further expand this program’s impact and the opportunities we offer, we are asking for our community’s support to grow our Learning by Leading student scholarship fund with a donation to our 2016-17 Annual Appeal.

 

LEARN MORE and GIVE

Leadership skills and real-world experience combine to help our students address the earth’s most important environmental issues

Our internships are based on the fundamental premise that students learn best by leading. The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden provides an ideal training ground to learn real-world skills and lead efforts to create a healthier environment and a more sustainable world. Our professional staff work closely with over 50 UC Davis undergraduate and graduate student interns per year in all areas of our public gardens operations. Many of our interns then go on to leadership positions where they are addressing urgent environmental issues in conservation science, research, biological monitoring, natural areas management, public garden management, sustainable design, nursery management, outdoor education, conservation science, and more in California and throughout the United States.

Some Arboretum internships require participation in a training and orientation program and a school year-long commitment (three quarters); others can be joined in different quarters throughout the year. The Arboretum staff often work closely with academic units on campus to ensure that students have a faculty sponsor and receive units for their work with the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. While the majority of interns receive credit; we do offer some paid student positions each year.

Opportunities

Arboretum Ambassadors

15589931939_3dce713b9c_qThis team of students engages family audiences and the wider community in themed events that they create with other environmental clubs and partners on campus. Ambassadors gain skills in informal education techniques, environmental leadership, event support, public outreach, volunteer coordination, and museum and non-profit management. Interns also work closely with Arboretum career and student staff to support existing programs and initiatives in our family nature program, arts program, plant sales, fundraising events and community gardening volunteer days. LEARN MORE

Ecological Restoration

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Interns will learn best management practices and the current science of restoring and managing natural systems as well as low water-use “sustainable” landscapes using the principles of adaptive management. Across the campus, interns will explore land management through the seasons and gain hands-on skills in planning, design, habitat restoration, biology, plant science, wildlife management, stewardship, erosion control, and maintenance. Students may also acquire technical skills in construction, irrigation, pruning, and use of heavy equipment such as tractors, all-terrain vehicles, and mowers. LEARN MORE

Edible Landscaping

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In this program, interns learn a variety of horticultural, project management, and outreach skills as they maintain community-based edible garden projects on campus.Weekly meetings and workshops are aimed at providing training and hands-on experience in ecological horticulture and leadership development. Training will include topics such as composting, propagation, planting & transplanting, garden design, strengths development, and community outreach.  Interns will also be responsible for independently managing a portion of their time each week developing and implementing design recommendations and outreach events for their particular project sites. LEARN MORE

GATEways Outreach

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GATEways Outreach interns work with a team of community volunteers to develop educational programs for youth, families, and underserved populations. Focused on sharing the riches of the thematic gardens throughout the Arboretum, interns offer weekend “Drop-In Days” to help engage public audiences in sustainability principles. The students also conduct activities at community and campus events, such as local science fairs and Picnic Day. LEARN MORE

Nursery Management

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Work with professional Arboretum nursery and plant sales staff to gain hands-on experience working in a nursery. Interns will learn methods for propagating a great variety of plants, many of which are unusual in cultivation. Interns are encouraged to choose the plants they work with and will gain experience in a range of nursery tasks, including irrigation, pruning, repotting, and IPM (Integrated Pest Management)/pest control. Interns will also participate in Arboretum plant sales offered on the weekends in order to gain experience with nursery events. LEARN MORE

SEE Putah Creek

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GATEways Outreach interns work with a team of community volunteers to develop educational programs for youth, families, and underserved populations. Focused on sharing the riches of the thematic gardens throughout the Arboretum, interns offer weekend “Drop-In Days” to help engage public audiences in sustainability principles. The students also conduct activities at community and campus events, such as local science fairs and Picnic Day. LEARN MORE

Sustainable Horticulture

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Transform high-water-use lawns and other campus landscapes to sustainable, pollinator-friendly landscapes. Hands-on training includes irrigation design and installation, planting design, plant selection and installation, and long-term maintenance. Students will also be responsible for leading an independent project. LEARN MORE

Students in this program can graduate with . . .

  • Central Valley gardening, drought-tolerant landscaping, habitat restoration and California native plant cultivation experience.
  • Knowledge of horticultural best practices, plant propagation, landscaping, education, and community outreach experience.
  • Highly-transferable leadership, team-building, and 21st century professional skills.
  • Strong mentor relationships with staff experts and earn recommendations to support future endeavors.
  • Knowledge organizing events that engage volunteers, visitors and other community members.
  • A new network of students engaged in improving our campus outdoor spaces and positively impacting our planet’s environment.

Video Overview