Natural Areas Conservation Internship

A trail through a deciduous forest in spring

A summer internship opportunity for current undergraduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill

Applications due: 3/4/2022
Location: Battle Park, Coker Pinetum, Piedmont Nature Trails
Duration: 3 months (approximately mid-May to mid-August 2022)
Hours: Full time; typically Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break
Pay: $10.62/hour

About the Garden

The North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) has been a leader in native plant conservation, horticulture, and education in the southeastern United States for more than 50 years. As part of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we further the University’s tripartite teaching, research, and public service mission through our own mission to inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants and to advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature. As a garden focused on conserving the biodiversity of southeastern native plants, we recognize that just as biodiversity is critical to a healthy ecosystem, diversity in people and perspectives makes our organization and community stronger. NCBG is committed to creating an environment in our gardens and natural areas where everyone’s voice is heard and everyone feels safe and welcome.

Job Description

The Natural Areas Conservation Intern(s) will work to further the conservation and restoration efforts of the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Battle Park, the Coker Pinetum, and the Piedmont Nature Trails natural areas. This internship is a great introduction to applied conservation and natural area management and is ideal for (and restricted to) undergraduates. The internship provides hands-on experience working mostly outdoors with staff and volunteers to advance the Garden’s management plans. The intern(s) will learn about local botany, ecology, trail maintenance, land management, and conservation issues, as part of an education-, research-, and conservation-oriented public entity. The intern may assist with the management of other NCBG properties as time allows.

General Duties

  • Restoring managed lands by removing invasive exotic plants using hand tools and appropriate herbicides
  • Maintaining pedestrian trail quality and assisting with trail construction
  • Working with and leading volunteer groups
  • Monitoring the location and health of specific plant populations
  • Propagating collections of restoration plants
  • Other tasks as needed, such as general support and maintenance activities at the historic Forest Theatre, wooden bench maintenance, developing interpretive information, and providing information to educate visitors.



  • Applicants must be current undergraduate students at UNC Chapel-Hill
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Willingness to perform manual tasks in a primarily outdoor environment
  • Passion for the environment and the Garden’s mission
  • The ability to work with people of different backgrounds


  • Experience working outdoors in variable conditions
  • Previous experience volunteering with or working with conservation organizations
  • Coursework in the fields of biology, ecology, environmental science, environmental studies, sustainability, park management, or related.
  • Experience with GIS software


This internship is a paid, full-time, temporary, 40 hours per week position with a wage of $10.62/hour. The term lasts from approximately mid-May to early August 2022. Some past summer interns have paired summer session courses with this internship experience. Some work for special events may occur on the weekends.

To Apply

Send a cover letter, resume, and list of references to Ben Heuser, Natural Areas Steward, at by Friday, March 4, 2022. Interviews will be scheduled around UNC’s Spring Break and depending on availability.