Working with the Smithsonian Gardens Orchid Collection (SGOC) managed by Smithsonian Gardens, the intern will have the opportunity to perform various tasks associated with living collection management, including exhibition preparation and collection inventory. All work is conducted under the supervision of the Manager of the Greenhouse Nursery Operations Branch or other qualified staff. The intern will gain hands-on experience processing a living collection for a multi-month exhibition; practice collection management duties related to a living collection; learn about orchid cultural care and best practices; and create content for a variety of social media platforms.


  • Help conduct weekly change-outs of plant material in the exhibit
  • Provide cultural care for plants in the orchid exhibition and interior plantscapes in the Smithsonian museums
  • Prepare plants for weekly exhibition deliveries including inventorying select plants, generating weekly delivery lists, and pulling or generating display labels


  • Maintenance and development of public gardens
  • Living plant collections
  • Plant identification and/or record collection techniques


Requirements for applying to the Smithsonian Gardens intern program:

  • Submit an online application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • College transcript(s)
  • Essay describing background, interest in field, career goals and chosen project


Completed application, essay, academic records, and two letters of recommendation should be submitted online through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System.