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Internship Benefits, Details & Training Opportunity

Internship Benefits​

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


Successful Internship Outcomes

Interns meet their career goals!

  • 97% of interns gain hands-on experience & applied education in real-world setting
  • 91% of interns learned what it’s like to work as a federal biologist
  • 89% of interns explored their career goals
  • 72 % of interns made connections in conservation and restoration fields


Preparedness for the Future

  • 95% of interns said their CLM internship made them more competitive for subsequent job opportunities
  • 30% of interns go on to graduate school after their internship – of these 83% said their CLM internship made them more competitive for admission to graduate school


Internship Details

Each year, 75-100 early-career students take part the CLM Internship Program, which serves as a bridge between college/university/similar training and a career in conservation and land management. All of our internships are 5 months long and begin between February and June annually. The federal agencies we partner with include the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS), U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and others. Non-profit partners have included the New England Wild Flower Society, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank, North Carolina Botanical Garden and the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank.

In 2019, internships will be based in the western US (AK, AZ, CA, CO, ID, OR, MT, NM, NV, UT, WA, and WY).



Internship pay varies with position and responsibilities. Most interns earn a salary of $612/week (before taxes) every 2 weeks. Team lead interns earn $840/week (before taxes). Internships last 5 months (20-24 weeks depending on funding arrangements). 

Background Education / Experience

Our interns have degrees and/or experience in the following areas:

  • Biology
  • Botany
  • Zoology (Fisheries, Ornithology, Mammalogy, etc.)
  • Ecology & Evolution
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Science
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Entomology
  • Forestry
  • Recreation Management
  • Education and Outreach


Internship Responsibilities

As an intern, you will assist in a wide variety of projects determined by the needs of your mentor and assigned office. Most internships include work in botany or wildlife-related fields.
Interns have worked in biology-related fields i.e., fire ecology, fisheries, livestock utilization, and native plant materials. A few internships have focused on archeology, planning and recreation.
GIS data have been an important component of numerous projects.
Approximately 50% of all interns participate in the Seeds of Success (SOS) Program.

Most interns will attend the CLM Training Workshop.

For more information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.


CLM Training Workshop

The 2019 Workshop will be held at the Chicago Botanic Garden June 10-14. Details for attendees will be forthcoming in April 2019!

The intensive all-expenses paid, one-week Training Workshop prepares interns for their respective internships by providing an overview of the agencies, policies and expectations, as well as serving as refresher courses in their field of expertise. Each intern will participate in workshop sessions that provide background information on topics related to those they are likely to encounter during their internship experience. Because the Workshop is typically held at the end of June, some interns will have spent a few weeks in their internship prior to attending while others will attend the workshop before their internship starts.

Benefits of the Training Workshop are numerous and provide a great opportunity to connect with other interns! These Workshops are led by experts in their field and cover topics including the following: 

  • Introduction to federal land management agencies
  • Plant Monitoring & Inventorying
  • Botany of the West
  • Seeds of Success, seed collecting demo & data entry
  • Conservation Genetics
  • The Mentor Experience - What to expect from your mentor, what your mentor expects from you
  • The Intern Experience - What to expect from your internship
  • Field Safety

The Chicago Botanic Garden is proud to partner with the federal agencies involved to offer this unique internship opportunity. 
With its world-renowned plant collections and displays, it is one of the country's most visited public gardens and a preeminent center for learning and scientific research.


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.