Museum Education

Staff Mentor


Maya Makker
Museum Education & Interpretive Manager



Student Co-Coordinators

Ryan Gooch

Ella Groff








Museum Education interns research and create interactive, interdisciplinary learning experiences in the Arboretum and Public Garden. Focused on making the Arboretum accessible to visitors of all ages, students collaborate with campus and community partners to create educational signage, pop-up exhibits, and programs highlighting key stories from the Arboretum’s collection. Students gain skills in visitor studies, informal education, and communications while developing a greater understanding of museum and nonprofit management.

Quarters: Year Long— Fall through Spring

Schedule: Interns attend weekly meetings as well as 1-2 weekend programs each month. The application period for the following school year is in April.

Units: 1-2

Other Learning by Leading 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

29954502853_8b3f9ef35d_qInterns 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

22229931220_1ef285939c_qIn 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

24952818702_42d192d809_qGATEways Outreach interns work closely with Arboretum Staff to support large-scale events such as the Arboretum Plant Sales, and develop their own interactive events for the public. Interns also collaborate with UC Davis partners to create experiences that promote the arts, science and other fields of study. Interns will also have the ability to enhance their leadership capacity by taking on different leadership roles within each event. LEARN MORE

Nursery Management

10313841305_c37378aa15_qWork 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

see-putah-creek-iconGATEways 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

26787732906_6a21bf9453_qTransform 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

Waterway Stewardship

Waterway Stewardship

The Waterway Stewardship team collaborate with the Waterway Steward and other staff of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden to maintain and enhance the Arboretum waterway. Regular tasks include removing trash and invasive weeds from the Arboretum Waterway and local watershed, monitoring wildlife and water quality assisting with habitat planting design, installing and maintaining irrigation, and supporting researchers and education on and about the waterway. LEARN MORE

2017-18 Museum Education Co-Coordinators, Ella Groff and Ryan Gooch