SUMMER INTERNSHIP in Field Botany and Native Plant Propagation

SUMMER INTERNSHIP in Field Botany and Native Plant Propagation

With the Farmscape Ecology Program, Hawthorne Valley Farm, Ghent, NY.

April – October 2019 (3-6 months total, exact dates are flexible)

We will begin reviewing applications on Feb. 1, 2019, but continue to accept applications until the position is filled (after Feb. 1, please check on to see if the position is still available)

The Farmscape Ecology Program is dedicated to exploring the human and natural dimensions of the landscape of Columbia County, NY through research and outreach. The Program is part of Hawthorne Valley Association, an educational non-profit, and is comprised of wildlife ecologist Conrad Vispo, botanist Claudia Knab-Vispo, social scientist Anna Duhon, conservation biologist Dylan Cipkowski, and technician Kenny Fowler.

Our interdisciplinary research explores various dimensions of the historical, current and potential future interactions of people with the land. An important part of our work is applied farmscape ecology, which involves the documentation of synergies between agricultural production and nature conservation, including the experimental creation, management, and monitoring of on-farm habitats for beneficial wildlife. The applied farmscape ecology work occurs mostly on our home farm (Hawthorne Valley Farm) and at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, and—to a lesser extend—on additional farms in the region.

For the 2019 season, we are looking for an intern dedicated mainly to the botanical aspects of our applied farmscape ecology work and to assist with the creation, maintenance, and monitoring of beneficial on-farm habitats. Applicants staying for longer than 3 months or planning to extend write ups into a fall school semester are encouraged to consider developing an independent project within the parameters of our research. We welcome inquiries from graduate students who feel their projects may be fitting. We would also be glad to collaborate with students whose universities offer the potential for independent credits.

Activities: The intern will be involved in the propagation of native plants, their seeding/planting to create on-farm habitats for pollinators and other beneficial invertebrates, the maintenance of already established habitats (weeding of unwanted herbaceous vegetation and removal of invasive shrubs), and the monitoring of vegetation composition and flower abundance in select areas across the season. The botany intern is also expected to assist with insect sampling and processing of insect specimens, as needed. He/she has the opportunity to be trained and become responsible for the monitoring of the phenology trails at Hawthorne Valley Farm and is expected to keep accurate records, including data entry into the computer.

Qualifications: We are looking for candidates with a strong interest in plants and gardening or agriculture who enjoy the outdoors. The ideal candidate has some experience with plant identification and gardening and is eager to hone his/her skills in these areas, but also excited to learn about insects and their interactions with native plants and agriculture. Candidates should be comfortable in a rural environment, in fields and off trails, be energetic, and thrive outdoors even when the going gets rough (think long hot days in a field without shade!). Given the work environment, it is important that candidates are sociable, able to interact with a diverse range of people of all ages and backgrounds, self-motivated and can work independently with attention to detail. Most importantly, we are looking for people who are eager to learn. We expect the candidates to have basic computer skills (word, excel, databases) and some academic and/or work experience in field biology, field ecology, natural history, environmental science, sustainable farming/gardening, environmental education, or related fields.

General Conditions: The internship is based at Hawthorne Valley Farm, a 500-acre organic and biodynamic diversified farm located in the heart of Columbia County, NY, in the northwest corner of Hillsdale. Interns will be expected to work at least five days per week. Periodic requests for weekend and after-hours work will occur, though the basic internship is organized around a 40 to 45-hour work week. Independent projects might require some additional hours.

Compensation: On-farm housing with shared kitchen and bathroom and an $800/month stipend are provided.

Additional Information: Information about Hawthorne Valley Association is available here; for more on the Farmscape Ecology Program itself, see

Application Process: Please send a CV including contact information for three references along with a cover letter explaining your interest in the entomology internship, including relevant training or practical experiences you have. Potentially suitable applicants will be interviewed by phone, and typically a personal visit to the Farm (located in eastern NY State) is requested before we make a final commitment. If you have questions, please contact Conrad or Claudia at 518-672-7994 or via email.