The Plant Biology Internships Program

The Department of Environmental and Plant Biology offers "pipeline" plant biology internships with host institutions around the United States, especially for upper-level plant biology majors and minors interested in gaining a comprehensive career experience. The Department has facilitated development of these internships through informal partnerships with the host institutions, in order to make the process of identifying worthwhile and suitable internships easier, and to help ensure uniform high quality in career-oriented internships available to our students. While many internships in this program are additional positions under a broader, pre-existing internships program operated by some host institutions, other internship positions are unique, created specifically for our majors and minors and available only to them. Many internships are structured especially for "terminal degree" students planning to enter a career directly following graduation. However, students anticipating graduate studies in the future will also benefit from the internships, and all majors and minors are welcome to apply. Regarding eligibility, internships are developed primarily for junior and continuing senior plant biology majors and minors, with advanced coursework, skill sets and, in many cases, undergraduate research experience substantial writing and speaking ability assumed by the host institutions. While sophomores are not prohibited from applying, seniors and juniors get priority for placement. Interested students should certainly study the requirements and qualifications stated by a host institution for a particular internship before applying to it, to be sure the student will meet most or all criteria expected by the institution by the time the internship takes place. Savvy freshmen and sophomores intending to participate in an internship in the future will benefit greatly by ensuring they have taken all core courses as well as advanced ones relevant to particular internships prior to application, including Undergraduate Research (PBIO 4940) and Writing for the Science Researcher (PBIO 4180J).

The Plant Biology Majors Internships Program offers positions with many host institutions in and around Athens, around Ohio and across the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii), and in the Bahamas and Jamaica. All outside Athens area provide free or nearly free housing, and a few provide a stipend and/or meals. While most are designated for summer, a few are available spring or fall semester, and a few in Athens area are "commuter" internships done any time, including part-time during an academic semester. The positions are roughly equally divided between careers and disciplinary areas suitable for "Applied Plant Biology" (horticulture, agriculture, sustainability) and "Field Ecology" (conservation, restoration, land stewardship, biotic inventory).

Details about the Internships Program (in PDF format) are presented in a slideshow, accessed by clicking HERE.

The summary table of currently available internships (in PDF format) can be accessed by clicking HERE.

The complete binder of individual Internship Fact Sheets (in PDF format) can be accessed by clicking HERE.

The application form (in PDF format) can be accessed by clicking HERE. The ranking sheet that accompanies the application form can be accessed by clicking HERE.


Some 2014 interns posted blogs of their experiences on the OU "News" website: Evan Apt post #1 and post #2 (Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL), Chris Benson (US National Arboretum, Beltsville, MD), Ben Chamberlain (Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Clermont, KY), Sean Demme post #1 and post #2 (Bernheim A&RF), and Jeremy Held post #1 and post #2 (The Nature Conservancy's Edge of Appalachia Preserve, West Union, OH).

The second annual Plant Biology Internships Symposium, held on Thursday, 9 October 2014, celebrated the accomplishments of 16 PBIO majors who did internships during spring and summer of 2014 (Moira Deegan is doing her Hawaii internship this fall). Presentations presented or submitted by 12 students can be accessed by clicking on the name of the student: Evan Apt, Chris Benson, Ben Chamberlain, Alisha Conde, Tayler DeBrosse, Sean Demme, Jeremy Held, Ike Pouliot, Aaron Robertson, Garrett Shull, Emily Spearman, and Kyle Strohl.

The first annual Plant Biology Internships Symposium, held on Thursday, 3 October 2013, celebrated the accomplishments of 12 PBIO majors who did internships during summer of 2013. Presentations made by 10 students can be accessed by clicking on the name of the student: Sarah Acomb, Julian Boaler, Ben Chamberlain, Donnie Day, Kyle Grubbs, Richie Janssen, Ryan Kniola, Taylor Macy, Garrett Shull, and Avery Tucker.


Non-Ohio University Internships and Research Experiences

As we are made aware of upcoming internships, we will put relevant information and links to PDFs of information or applications on a secondary webpage. At the moment, none are posted.


For more information, or to make suggestions for future internship opportunities, please contact Dr. Harvey Ballard, Internships Coordinator, 406 Porter Hall; email:


Modified 15 October, 2014.


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