Waterway Stewardship

Staff Mentor








Nina Suzuki
Waterway Steward



Student Co-Coordinators

Tiffani To & Noreen Mabini



UC Davis students are invited to become a Waterway Steward and take part in an exciting opportunity to be a part of a major campus investment to renew the Arboretum waterway to benefit water quality, wildlife, research, and the community!

Interns will become familiar with land and water management concepts of sustainable environmental design, storm water management, and native habitat restoration in an urban setting. Field tasks include planting native habitat, monitoring water quality and wildlife, removing invasive weeds and litter, installing and maintaining irrigation, as well as supporting research and community education. As a project-oriented internship, interns will gain skills that foster teamwork and leadership. Training will include identifying native plants and weeds, safety procedures, equipment usage, planting and vegetation management techniques, data collection with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), water sampling and community outreach.

Quarters: Fall, Winter, Spring
Schedule: 3 hours/week
Fall Quarter Schedule 2018:
Interns will meet Wednesdays from 1:10 pm to 4:00 pm
Units: 1 unit/quarter
Contact: Nina Suzuki (see contact info left) 

Applications for Fall Quarter are due August 29, 2018


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

Naturalized Lands and Habitat 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 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

Museum Education

MuseuSign Testingm 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. 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


This team of students engages in the ongoing stewardship of the UC Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve. Using observational skills, these interns will gain an understanding of the changing environment within the creek corridor and recognize how it affects the area. They work in teams to identify small projects they would like to implement for example, trail repair, revegetation, the addition of visitor amenities and more, and work with staff to complete them. 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

Slideshow of Waterway Project Progress