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Conservation and Land Management Internship Program

We have opened applications for 2023 CLM internship positions, however applications will be handled on the Chicago Botanic Garden ADP website. We will post position descriptions below as well.

For questions, please contact Chris Woolridge - or Monica Depies - 

Please also check out our Seeds of Success positions working on Bureau of Land Management land!


USFS ​Seed Collection Interns (29) - APPLY HERE

These CLM Internship positions are funded by a participating agreement with the US Forest Service for 4-5 months, primarily scouting and making collections of native seed on Forest Service land under the national Seeds of Success program. When not scouting or collecting seed, there may be opportunities to assist USFS staff on additional tasks for the Forest. These positions will start from mid-May to early June, and end in mid- to late-October. 

We are currently accepting applications for several Seeds of Success (SOS) focused CLM internships with the US Forest Service at the following National Forests:

  • Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF in Dillon, MT
  • Lolo NF in Missoula, MT
  • Helena-Lewis & Clark NF in Helena, MT
  • Lincoln NF in Ruidosa, NM
  • Manti-La Sal NF in Moab, UT
  • Boise NF and Payette NF in Boise, ID
  • Caribou-Targhee NF in Idaho Falls, ID
  • San Bernardino NF in San Bernardino, CA
  • Colville NF in Tonasket, WA
  • Umpqua NF in Idleyld Park, OR
  • Umpqua NF in Cottage Grove, OR - Dorena Genetic Resources Center
  • Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington, IL
  • Tongass NF in Ketchikan, AK
  • Chugach NF in Moose Pass, AK

These positions are funded under the Public Land Corp (PLC) program, engaging adults 16-30 years old, and veterans age 35 and younger, in crews and internships on natural and cultural resource projects located on eligible service lands. Upon completion of a minimum of 640 hours and at least 120 hours on Forest Service lands, interns may qualify for a Public Land Corp Act Certificate to be used towards future Federal hiring and non-competitive hiring status for a period of not more than 2 years after completion of the PLC service.


USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station - Grassland Plant Ecology Interns (3) - APPLY HERE

The Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS), in cooperation with the Chicago Botanic Garden, is recruiting three (3) Grassland Plant Ecology Interns. Interns will be based at the Rapid City, SD, office of RMRS and will work on Buffalo Gap National Grassland, which is administered by the U.S. Forest Service. These positions are funded for 18 weeks. The ideal start date for these positions is May 22nd, 2023. 

Interns will conduct field measurements for a drought and climate change study in the Northern Great Plains. The research study is designed to give land managers and scientists a better understanding of northern mixed-grass prairie plant response to seasonal and extreme drought in the context of grazing. In support of this mission, interns will collect plant species composition, demography, and biomass data, as well as maintain mowing treatments and rainout shelter infrastructure.  As this project is a collaboration among RMRS, the U.S. Geological Survey, and Colorado State University, interns will interact with scientists specializing in variety of plant ecology topics.   

Interns will work as part of the Maintaining Resilient Dryland Ecosystems program and thus may occasionally work in sagebrush and sagebrush-associated habitats. In addition to the drought project, interns may assist with additional projects as opportunities arise, such as fieldwork helping assess invasive annual brome germination rates. Interns will generally work four 10-hour days per week but will work five 8-hour days per week at the beginning and end of the appointment. Initially, interns will work together with the assistance of the lead scientist or an experienced technician. As the season progresses, they may be paired with each other or an RMRS technician.


USFWS Klamath Falls, OR - Fish and Wildlife Interns (3) - APPLY HERE

These 3 CLM Internship positions are funded by a cooperative agreement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service for approximately 5 months (20 weeks), primarily collecting biological and physical data related to sensitive species in the upper Klamath River basin. The ideal start date range for these positions is from April 3rd to April 17th,2023.

The primary objectives of the interns are to 1) assist with collection and management of data as it pertains to species under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and 2) gain practical field experience, collection techniques, data management, and data analysis techniques. Interns will complete multiple aquatic and terrestrial duties as assigned. Species that the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office work with include Lost River sucker, shortnose sucker, bull trout, Oregon spotted frog, Modoc sucker, gray wolf, Bald eagles, and Applegate's milk-vetch. Prior knowledge of sampling methods is not required. Rather, interns will acquire skills in fisheries techniques using zooplankton nets, net pens, backpack electrofishing, marking (e.g., passive integrated transponder tags, radio transmitters; fin clips), and fish/plant/amphibian identification.

Data collection and management will be integral to all activities. Thus, interns will complete and gain skills in data management, including entering, summarizing, and analyzing information using databases, GIS, Excel, and R Studio. Interns may also participate in report writing, which will provide an understanding of writing for various outlets (e.g., government reports, media). Previously, interns have completed projects and data analyses that resulted in publications in peer-reviewed outlets. As part of each project, interns will participate and obtain skills in sampling equipment assembly and maintenance, safety techniques, and interacting with the public.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service field office is located in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Klamath Falls is in south-central Oregon on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountain range and is situated adjacent to Upper Klamath Lake (one of the largest lakes in the Western United States). The small city lies in the transition zone from high elevation forest to high desert. The population of Klamath Falls is approximately 40,000 and has several collegiate institutions. Many other federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, Crater Lake National Park, the Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Geological Survey, are located within the city, and are involved directly with our office. The agencies, as well as State agencies and NGOs, employ seasonal technicians that often socialize with our interns.



The Conservation and Land Management (CLM) internship program places early-career scientists in five-month paid internships to assist professional biologists with land management and conservation projects. Since 2001, the CLM program has successfully placed over 1350 interns, providing them with a rich experience from which to launch their professional careers. 

CLM Internship Benefits 
CLM internships are paid internships! ​
 Explore your career goals and expand your resume 
Experience new landscapes, habitats, and species diversity in the beautiful western US
Make connections in various governmental and non-profit organizations
Learn what it's like to work at a federal agency
Apply your education to important conservation projects

Most of our internships are located in the western US, where the majority of public land occurs. Federal partners include the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, US Geologic Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service and others. Non-profit partners include the the Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank and the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank.​

Click here to read more about our internshi​ps!

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call 847-835-8264 to contact our Title IX Coordinator should you have questions or concerns.

The Chicago Botanic Garden stands firmly opposed to systemic and institutional racism. We passionately believe that Black lives matter. We recognize that people of color often feel unwelcome in public spaces, including gardens, forest preserves, and parks. The Chicago Botanic Garden acknowledges that we can do more to address this within our own organization. We recommit ourselves to live our mission and values as we strive to make the Chicago Botanic Garden a welcoming place for everyone.