This internship provides the opportunity to promote a better understanding and hands-on experience of Integrated Pest Management techniques, urban ecosystems, and proper identification of pest species in a garden.

  • Learn to efficiently scout and monitor for pest problems
  • Learn to diagnose disease and pest problems for a wide variety of plants and landscapes
  • Learn to write reports on findings and develop pest management programs
  • Assist with release of biological controls and beneficial insects
  • Develop communication skills with the public and horticultural staff about pest management strategies
  • Learn about ways to promote and support urban ecosystems and pollinator conservation
  • Gain hands-on experience by increasing practical entomological skills and pest management techniques

This internship meets the needs of a student who is interested in sustainable pest management strategies and seeks hands-on experience with urban ecosystems in the museum setting. The intern will work under the supervision of the Plant Health Specialist and Arborist. Interns are encouraged to take advantage of the abundant resources of the Smithsonian Institution.

Duties & Responsibilities

Assist with scouting and identification of insect pests, diseases and fungi associated with plants. Collect samples for working in conjunction with pathology and soil laboratories.  Release beneficial insects to help pest populations. Record data and develop management strategies for different types and levels of pest populations. Communicate results of scouting reports with staff. Assist with outreach events and educational public interactions. The intern may have an opportunity to work on specialized projects such as invasive species or pollinator service surveys.

Desired Qualifications

Smithsonian Gardens accepts current and recently graduated undergraduate and graduate students studying horticulture, entomology, plant science, biology, ecology or other related fields. Selection is based on both an evaluation of the applicant’s application and available positions.


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, and career goals


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