Internship Program at Morris Arboretum
The Plant Protection Intern works under the Arboretum's senior botanist and plant pathologist to monitor plant pest and disease problems affecting the living collection. The intern also extends the Arboretum's horticultural expertise and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) philosophy to the public to answer their gardening questions. This position is supported by the John J. Willaman & Martha Haas Valentine Internship Endowment.
2013-14 John J. Willaman & Martha Haas Valentine Endowed Plant Protection Intern
Duties and Responsibilities
- Monitor the living collection to detect and track pest and disease problems
- Communicate information on pests and diseases to staff members
- Coordinate the daily operation of the Plant Clinic, providing diagnostic services to the public about horticultural problems
- Hone diagnostic skills
- Complete an independent study project under the direction of your supervisor
- Work at two weekend Arboretum events - Fall Festival and Plant Sale
- Work one afternoon in the Arboretum's Plant Clinic per week
- Participate in intern core curriculum sessions as scheduled
- Learn to follow proper safety practices
- Perform additional duties as requested
- A good working knowledge of the ornamental flora
- Course work in plant pathology and entomology
- Good communication skills - ability to relate to the public both in person and on the telephone
- Ability to work well with peers
- Keen powers of observation and an active curiosity
- Persistence and perseverance
- Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
The Plant Protection Intern spends time each day out-of-doors or in the greenhouses observing plants in the collection for pest and disease problems. In addition, laboratory facilities are provided for researching, diagnosing, and culturing pest and disease organisms. The intern is also responsible for scheduling and coordinating other interns' participation in staffing the Plant Clinic. Interacting with Plant Clinic users, either in person or by telephone, is another important role. Follow-up may include drawing on the expertise of other arboretum staff members or conducting research via the internet or other more traditional avenues to answer specific questions.
Past Project Topics
- The Potential of Ericoid Mycorrhizae as a Biological Control for Phytophthora cinnamomi
- Hemlock Trees, Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and Control Strategies
- Updating the Plant Clinic Web Site
- Identifying, Describing, and Controlling Mealybugs at the Morris Arboretum
Click here to read the 2011-2012 Plant Protection Intern Report.
Click here to read the 2010-2011 Plant Protection Intern Report.