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Internship - Sustainable Horticulture - Spring 2024

Posted: January 24, 2024 Expired: February 21, 2024
Shedd Aquarium
High School

Shedd Aquarium

Internship - Sustainable Horticulture - Spring 2024

Internship: Sustainable Horticulture
Season: Spring 2024 (Approx Mar-June)
Location: Onsite
Application Deadline: Monday February 5 at 5pm CST
Internship Overview: 
At Shedd Aquarium, our commitment to conservation and sustainability extends beyond the walls into our biodiverse organic gardens that have been developed as both aesthetic and educational experiences for our visitors. The Horticulture Department supports this mission of sustainability and conservation by growing fruits, flowers and vegetables to enrich the diets of many of our animals, and by growing thousands of native plants for our conservation sites and gardens in our own on-site micro nursery.  Interns will have the opportunity to learn about caring for naturalistic landscapes, edible landscaping, practical use of native plants in ornamental horticulture, invasive species control, our relationship with pollinators, soil creation and conservation, IPM, and food propagation. Interns will work independently and with our team to learn the skills needed to care for these landscapes.   

The completion of an independent study project is an important aspect of this internship. Ample time will be allowed for this project which will be presented towards the end of the internship.  
Learning Objectives: 

  • Strengthen understanding of the sustainable gardening techniques practiced at Shedd and their wider application  
  • Strengthen understanding of how to create biodiverse managed landscapes  
  • Practice the basics of organic fruit and vegetable propagation  
  • Develop an understanding of the potential of public gardens to advance conservation work  

Responsibilities & Projects: 

  • Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission and values 
  • Work alongside the Coordinator of Horticulture and Manager of Horticulture Programs to learn about the skills necessary for growing sustainable, healthy gardens.  
  • Complete an independent project and share with the Shedd community through a presentation (ex. a tour, newsletter submission, or lecture).  
  • Assist as directed with: 
    • Weeding, watering, and deadheading. 
    • Native plant propagation 
    • Planting vegetable and annual starts  
    • Growing food crops in our display gardens 
    • Preparing new planting areas 
    • Natural and native landscape maintenance
    • Litter pick-up
    • Observations of local fauna 
  • Other projects as assigned 


Fields of Interest: Horticulture, Urban Agriculture, Environmental Studies, Public Gardens or related and a strong desire to learn in this field. Horticulture training helpful, but not required.

  • A sincere interest in horticulture
  • Ability to walk, stand, and stoop for extended periods of time and lift up to 50 pounds.  
  • Effective communication skills with an outgoing and friendly personality  
  • Ability to handle multiple projects  
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality 
  • Willingness to work outdoors in variable weather conditions  
  • Have a high school diploma or GED. 

Time & Compensation: 

  • This is a non-exempt, temporary position that pays $15.80 per hour
  • We anticipate this position will be scheduled for 21 hours per week for 10 weeks, pending business needs and individual performance.
  • Preferred schedule: flexible Tuesday-Friday. No weekends.
  • Set schedule based on intern availability. 

We welcome applications from all levels of experience, including those seeking career exploration or changes, gap year students, freshmen, sophomores, and those seeking first internships. 
We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, Veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team. 
If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs). 



How to Apply

please apply through our website:

Shedd Aquarium
Chicago, IL 60605

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