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Veteran Internship Program, Soil Ecology & Restoration Intern

Requisition Number: 
Horticulture Therapy
Job Status: 
Work under supervision in conservation science, soil, and microbiology while participating in the Veteran Internship Program to create a plan for transitioning to the civilian workforce.

Learn about and gain experience in the restoration and management of urban soils including the uses of biochar, mulch, and microbial amendments, measuring indices of soil quality, analysis of data sets, and translating the lab-based indicators into useful measures for land managers. You will work under the supervision of Conservation Science, Soil & Microbiology and receive individual and small group assistance to: 

  • Create a civilian job market resumé and cover letter
  • Develop a professional online presence via LinkedIn
  • Practice interview skills and professionalism 
  • Explore career choices
  • Learn how to search for employment
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Assisting with field research projects that will evaluate usefulness of soil additives (biochar, mulch, etc.) in restoration, including collecting soil samples, watering and harvesting plants. 
  • Assisting with the care of planted pots including watering, fertilizing, thinning, and harvest. 
  • Assisting with basic soil and plant tissue analyses and record keeping including tracking samples on a computer spreadsheet and recording data. 
  • Assisting with making chemical solutions, maintaining laboratory cleanliness, archiving samples. 
  • Preparing and presenting a five- to ten-minute presentation about your experience to other interns. Leading a tour of the lab facilities for other interns and visitors. 
  • Attending regular lab meetings, field trips, and weekly intern meetings with guest speakers throughout the summer to learn about general botanic garden operations. 
  • Being an enthusiastic and positive contributor to the Veteran Internship Program cohort. 
  • Completing the Veteran Internship Program curriculum. 

Pay rate: $15/hour for 30 hours/week for 14 weeks. Additional $50/week travel stipend


Our ideal candidate will have the following: 

  • Veteran status
  • Must be able to provide DD Form 214 during application process
  • Ability to provide Veteran I.D. 
  • Must be able to work 14 weeks from May 21 through August 24
  • Enrolled in a college biology or environmental science program or related field with an interest in restoration and soil management. Candidates within a year of their graduation will also be considered. 
  • Completed freshman-level coursework in biology (or botany) and chemistry. Coursework in soil science or environmental science would be an advantage. 
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills. 

Applications are due March 16, 2018. 

Applications will be reviewed after receipt of Employment ApplicationFederal Affirmative Action Questionnaire (voluntary), DD Form 214, and current resumé including your education and work experience with dates. Attach and send your resumé and application materials to Include the job title and requisition number in the subject line of your email.

Physical Demands: 
Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items up to 50 pounds, ability to work outside in all types of weather, and frequent exposure to insects, mold, mud, and dust. Some work on stepladders.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

Who should apply?:

Honorably discharged veterans seeking interim employment and guidance in creating a plan for transitioning to civilian workforce.