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Science and Conservation Communications Intern - Seasonal

The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL, United States
Employer Description

When Joy Morton established The Morton Arboretum in 1922, he envisioned a “great outdoor museum” of trees. Today, our living collections inspire visitors to appreciate, learn about, plant, and protect trees. The Arboretum champions the world's trees through plant collections, science and conservation, education, and outreach.

The Morton Arboretum's 1,700 acres hold more than 222,000 live plants representing nearly 4,300 taxa from around the world. Situated on the rolling Valparaiso moraine and bisected by the East Branch of the DuPage River, the Arboretum is planned and planted to nurture and display trees and shrubs in environments conducive to their growth.

The Arboretum conducts leading scientific research on tree health and tree improvement, collects and displays trees for study and enjoyment on the grounds, offers educational programming for adults and children, and presents nature-related activities year-round for people of all ages and interests.

Also on the grounds are the Visitor Center with The Arboretum Store and Ginkgo Restaurant and Café, four-acre Children’s Garden, one-acre Maze Garden, Sterling Morton Library, Plant Clinic, nine miles of roads, and 16 miles of trails.

Job Description

Position Summary:   Develop content and key messages for specified programs and science communications for the Science and Conservation department.  Assist in organization and prioritization of information, depending on audience.  Specific programs include the Chicago Region Tree Initiative, which works toward improving the urban forest throughout the Chicago region, and ArbNet, a worldwide network of tree-focused gardens and practitioners.

Essential Functions:

  • Synthesize information and write messaging appropriate for broadening the program’s reach and fostering partnerships related to the program.
  • Assess the needs of a specified audience and frame content appropriately.
  • Organize and prioritize content for the web and/or newsletters, etc.  May also update and maintain spreadsheets, migrate information to existing web pages, and update web resources.
  • Conduct basic research related to program area.
  • May review ArbNet applications and make recommendations.
  • May assist with database entry and maintenance.
  • Attend meetings related to specified program.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Job Requirements

Qualifications:  Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, conservation, environmental policy, botany, biology, or a related science, or working toward such a degree, or similar professional experience required.  Consideration for applicants with degrees in Communication or English with a strong background in science.  Strong organizational and independent working skills required.  Ability to conduct library research required.  Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google applications beneficial, and experience with contact databases and website management may be helpful.

Success Factors:  Strong written and oral communication skills.  Strong interpersonal skills. Familiar with academic and scientific literature and research databases.  Eager to learn.  Interest in the mission of The Morton Arboretum and a passion for trees.  Ability to read and understand scientific literature and peer-review articles and synthesize and translate key messages to a variety of audiences.  Ability to use database, spreadsheet, or other programming skills, and proficiency with internet research.  Organization, critical thinking, and creativity skills are essential.  Ability to work independently and as part of a team to further the mission of The Morton Arboretum.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: Work requires some physical activity: sitting for extended periods of time.

  • Work Environment: Office environment.

  • Equipment: General office equipment.


22 January 2019
22 April 2019
Some College
Plant Science