Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Field Services

May - August 2018 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

As the "Woody Plants" intern, I enjoyed working with trees and shrubs (and occasionally herbaceous plants) over the course of the summer. I had the opportunity to not only learn the names and identifying features of a number of plant species, but get to know their growing patterns and environmental roles as well. The landscaping work that my fellow Field Services intern and I completed was also pretty enjoyable.

What I wish was different

Though I am now able to identify a number of tree, shrub, and herbaceous plant species native to Michigan, I wish the internship provided more "plant identification" oriented workshops. This would have allowed my fellow interns and I to learn about the characters of a variety of plant species in a more focused environment. Oftentimes, I became familiar with specific plants species because we worked with them on a daily basis; whether this be through planting or maintaining, or eradication.


Be prepared for physical activity everyday of the week. The opportunity provided me with a plethora of new skills that plan to use in the future, but it was exhausting. At the beginning of the summer, I had intentions of doing a number of things at the end of each work day, however this was not the case. Upon returning home, I would crash: this would include either taking a nap, watching television, or playing video games for the remainder of the day. This was my experience, however; I would definitely recommend the internship for anyone who has an interest in the environment and plants!
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