2021 Summer Internship Information

Friends Of Lyon Arboretum Summer Internship Program

Lyon landscape on a sunny day

General Overview

For the 2021 Summer Internship Program at Lyon Arboretum, sponsored by the Friends of Lyon Arboretum  (FLA), interns will be provided with a hybrid experience across four participating departments. Interns will each have an assigned host department and will also participate in group activities on a weekly basis. As such, interns will assist in a variety of tasks as detailed by their respective department and gain valuable in-depth experience there. During rotations they will also develop an appreciation for the other units at Lyon and receive an insight into what their colleagues are doing during the internship timeframe.

Interns will work independently within their host department on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Thursdays will be group activity days. On group activity days, all interns will do a group activity that benefits the day’s host department. Some group activity days will be replaced with field trips for the interns to visit other organizations and sites and learn behind the scenes.

Schedule: June 7th – July 30st, 2021. (4 days a week, Monday-Thursday; last week of the internship will be a full week; state and federal holidays observed.)

Workday Hours: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Pay: $2,500


Positions available

Positions are available with the following departments for the 2021 FLA Summer Internship Program: Horticulture Department, Grounds and Collections Department, Micropropagation Lab, and Seed Conservation Lab. 

Click here to learn more about the Horticulture and Grounds and Collections Department

Click here to learn more about Micropropagation and Seed Labs.

Learn more about the opportunities and responsibilities associated with each host department (click a heading to show/hide information)

Horticulture Department (click to show/hide)

The Horticulture Intern will gain

  • Experience in the maintenance and production of tropical plants in a professional greenhouse setting.
  • Hands-on experience with plant propagation, fertilization, and repotting.
  • An understanding of plant identification, propagation techniques, potting media types, planting strategies, and marketing for sales.

The Horticulture Department, in turn, will gain

  • Assistance in caring for the diverse living collections in our four greenhouses at Lyon, in addition to maintaining the facilities and growing spaces.
  • Extra help to take on large projects such as greenhouse infrastructure repairs, annual plant collection inventories, and sale production and preparation.

The intern will

  • Help to care for living collections (watering, fertilizing, re-potting, pest control, etc.)
  • Collect and document plant material for greenhouse living collections
  • Propagate plant materials through seed germination and vegetative cuttings
  • Assist in maintenance of facilities (general cleaning, weeding, and minor repairs as needed)
  • Engage in site preparations (weeding, clearing, etc.) and planting of material on the grounds of Lyon

The intern’s work will be evaluated in the following ways

  • Project goals will be determined and set by the intern with guidance by the Horticulture Manager
  • The intern will be evaluated based on performance of day-to-day tasks and execution of a cumulative horticulture-related project approved by the Horticulture manager
  • Progress over the course of the internship, and project findings, will be documented and presented by the intern at an end of internship meeting with Lyon staff

Training or other benefits with the intern will receive

  • Skills in identification of ornamental plants, Polynesian crops, native plants, and weedy or invasive plant species
  • Knowledge of greenhouse practices for the production and maintenance of tropical plants including fertilization, pest control, propagation techniques, repotting, and planting
  • An understanding of potting media types, their properties, and uses for different types of plants

Impact the internship will have on the Arboretum as a whole

With a small but dedicated staff at Lyon, and a huge collection of plants to care for, any extra man (or woman) power is a benefit to the Arboretum. With extra help from interns over the summer, larger projects can be accomplished more efficiently, staff have more time to focus on administrative duties, and overall productivity at Lyon is amplified. After completing the program, interns then serve as ambassadors of Lyon, sharing their experiences at Lyon with the broader community.


 

Grounds and Collections Department (click to show/hide)

Goals for the internship

With any internship, it is our hopes that the experience is mutually beneficial to both the intern and the host site. We hope to provide an experience that will give our intern a well-rounded introduction to the role of arboreta in conservation, best practices for the maintenance and inventory of native and exotic species. 

In return, we will establish a connection with the intern whose experience here will last a lifetime as well as some well needed assistance in our on-going field work in maintaining the living collection.

The Grounds & Collection Intern will learn the skills required for general maintenance/monitoring of this collection to include plant identification, invasive species removal, pruning techniques, accession inventory/health monitoring, out-plant site preparation and subsequent outplanting. 

Interns will also focus on trail-building, interpretation of wayside plants and learn how to document accessions using herbarium vouchers and properly store information collected during an inventory. 

During the individual’s time in this program they will be working with professionals who will instruct the intern not only in the aforementioned skill sets, but in safety and best practices as well.

The intern’s work will be evaluated in the following ways

    1.) Plant ID practical exam

    2.) Weekly Field notebook check

    3.) Project and presentation 

In addition to the above, the intern will also receive the following training and benefits:

    1.) Introduction to plant systematics and major plant family identification  

    2.) Invasive species identification and techniques for invasive species management/eradication 

    3.) Proper tool maintenance, use, and safety

    4.) Trail building techniques and best practices

    5.) How to keep a field notebook and make herbarium vouchers

Impact the internship will have on the Arboretum as a whole

The impacts of these internships are the relationships or pilina that are built between Lyon staff and interns. Over the course of time, many of these interns, who we mentor, often become positive contributors to the protection and conservation of Hawaii’s natural resources.


 

Hawaiian Rare Plant Program: Micropropagation Lab (click to show/hide)

Goals for this internship

Through our participation, the Hawaiian Rare Plant Program (HRPP) Micropropagation Lab hopes to gain much needed assistance in maintaining its large germplasm storage of endangered native Hawaiian taxa. 

We hope that the participant will gain hands-on laboratory experience that includes maintaining the in vitro living plant collections and associated tasks such as: 1) media preparation, 2) sterile techniques, and 3) general laboratory maintenance.

Both the participant and our organization will ultimately help to complete our mission and conservation goal of conserving those species that are on the precipice of becoming extinct without some kind of human intervention.

Activities of the intern

Work activities to be conducted at the micropropagation laboratory include: 

  • Plant maintenance of the living plant germplasm stored as in vitro cultures with minimal supervision. 
  • Preparation of newly created and various existing plant growth nutrient media formulations and chemical stock solutions specifically used to grow plants as in vitro cultures within the laboratory. 

Other activities include: plant micropropagation, lab maintenance and cleaning, washing of labware, possibly some computer and greenhouse work.

How the intern’s work be evaluated

Intern activities will primarily be performed in the HRPP micropropagation lab, and due to the technicality of the tasks to be completed, constant supervision, monitoring and evaluation by lab staff will be conducted. The intern will be expected to present a final presentation to the Lyon staff.

Training or other benefits the intern will receive

We will actively mentor the participant by teaching them the skills and protocols necessary to work with plants in the micropropagation laboratory setting and provide an insight into the role of micropropagation (and HRPP as a whole) in the conservation of native Hawaiian endangered species. 

We are currently developing the protocols necessary to provide cryopreservation storage for these endangered plants and the participant will be able to participate and learn about the crucial role of this new technology in conserving plant material in the laboratory setting.

There may also be opportunities to work in the HRPP’s Seed Lab and Greenhouse and to participate in the outplanting of propagules in the field with the State of Hawaiʻi DLNR-DOFAW’s Plant Extinction Prevention program collaborators.

Impact for the Arboretum

This position will assist the Lyon Arboretum Hawaiian Rare Plant Program and Hawaiʻi’s conservation community in its ongoing efforts to bring interest and awareness to the role of ex situ conservation in the ongoing efforts to capture, stabilize and restore the critically endangered and threatened native plants of Hawaiʻi. It is imperative to continue to conserve and maintain our natural environment and resources in order to keep Hawaiʻi’s unique beauty preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.

Through our participation, the Hawaiian Rare Plant Program (HRPP) Micropropagation Lab hopes to gain much needed assistance in maintaining its large germplasm storage of endangered native Hawaiian taxa. We hope that the participant will gain hands-on laboratory experience that includes maintaining the in vitro living plant collections and associated tasks such as: 1) media preparation, 2) sterile techniques, and 3) general laboratory maintenance. Both the participant and our organization will ultimately help to complete our mission and conservation goal of conserving those species that are on the precipice of becoming extinct without some kind of human intervention.


 

Hawaiian Rare Plant Program: Seed Conservation Lab (click to show/hide)

Description

The Lyon Arboretum Rare Plant Program, which houses the Seed Conservation Laboratory, is dedicated to safeguarding the germplasms of threatened and endangered species from throughout the state of Hawaiʻi. We have historically banked > 29 million seeds from ~700 taxa including some of the rarest plant species on the planet, as well as storing seeds for common species facing modern threats such a Rapid Ohia Death (ROD), in collaboration with various state, government, NGO, and private conservation partners across different islands.

Participants of the Lyon Summer Intern program in the Seed Conservation Lab will experience a range of activities related to seed bank operations. The Seed Conservation Lab Intern is expected to help with these duties as well as complete a small research, conservation, or outreach project during their internship program.

Activities of intern

  • Seed processing (e.g. cleaning, sorting, counting)
  • Viability testing (e.g. preparing testing substrate, seedling count, data recording)
  • Seedling propagation in the growth chamber and greenhouse (e.g. plant media preparation, potting up, watering, sanitation, seedling inventory)
  • Small research, conservation, or outreach project related to seed banking of native Hawaiian threatened and endangered species

Benefits to intern

  • Introduction to native Hawaiian plant species, especially the U.S. Federally listed Threatened and Endangered species
  • Introduction to ex situ Hawaiian plant conservation, and the HRPP’s plant conservation network and collaborators
  • Receive hands-on training in the lab and gain skills related to various seed processing and banking strategies as well as data collection
  • Opportunity to conduct a small research, conservation, or outreach project

Significance

  • Provides an opportunity for in-depth outreach to individuals who are interested in conservation of threatened and endangered native Hawaiian plant species
  • Provides an opportunity for a small research, conservation, or outreach project of interest to interns, which would help interns learn and think about conservation with possibility for a new discovery (in case of a research project), which could have immediate application
  • Seed Conservation Lab would obtain needed manpower to conduct seed banking operation

To Apply

If interested in this internship opportunity, email the following to Ms Raedelle Van Fossen, Education Manager, at raedelle@hawaii.edu

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. List of three references

In your cover letter, please indicate your first, second, and third choice of which host department you would like to be placed. Failure to follow application instructions may reflect poorly on the application.

Deadline: March 5th, 2021

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on the first day of the program.
  • High school graduates, current and recent college students, and other individuals interested in gaining experience working in conservation are all welcome to apply.

We look forward to receiving your application!


Resources for applicants

Be sure to use proper, professional formatting on your cover letter and resume. Need help getting started? There are many guides and resources available online, including several by the Mānoa Career Center.

We strongly recommend that applicants new to the workforce refer to the Cover Letter Guide. (Note: for our FLA internships, remember to include your first, second, and third choice of host department after your introductory paragraph!) A resume building guide is also available.

Here are two guides for listing your professional references too, one from the Balance Careers and one from Indeed.


Questions

If you have questions, please call Raedelle Van Fossen at (808) 988-0461 or email at raedelle@hawaii.edu.

Mahalo for your interest in our Friends of Lyon Arboretum Internship program!


More opportunities

Don’t forget to check out our other paid Trail Building Internships too!


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