2013 Plant Breeding Internship Program

This Program provides a summer internship at Rutgers Gardens for 6 Students with a focus upon plant breeding. The goal is to expose students to the complexities of public gardens maintenance and to provide the students with a hands-on participation in a Plant Breeding program.  In this program, the students will conduct, study and evaluate the processes that go into developing ‘new’ ornamental plants for the nursery industry.  In addition to a long term woody plant breeding program, crosses will also be conducted on an annual plant, that will allow both crossing and evaluation of a particular species within the confines of the summer program
All the students will work at Rutgers Gardens at a minimum of 3 days a week.  In addition to various fieldtrips to public and private gardens, the internship will include:

  • Zone Gardening  Interns will assist in the managing the various garden collections, installing public displays of annual.
  • Shrub and Tree Care and Pruning  Evaluate how the different pruning techniques effect the growth of the plant as well as how the plants respond to the wounding.  Discuss the tools required, including the basic techniques and safety considerations for chainsaw and chipper operation.
  • Basics of Turf Care Covering the basics of proper lawn maintenance and edging, including equipment maintenance and operation.
  • Basic Care of Perennials, Annuals and Ornamental Grasses  Layout, planting and care of the annual display garden, which is a major attraction of the Gardens.  In addition, the various other mixed borders and displays will be maintained.  Focus is upon the culture, identification, design considerations and pest issues of these various ornamental plants..
  • Woodland Maintenance Rutgers Gardens includes a 70 acre woodland area, named Helyar Woods.  The care of the woodland and the removal of various invasive plants is an ongoing process and is an active part of the internship.   

The internship will start Wednesday, May 15, 2013 and end Friday, August 23, 2013

Course requirements:

  • Good work performance
  • Time sheet for in-field work (no payment for class time)
  • Journal
  • Research paper on individual topic

Completed applications must be received (not post-marked) by February 15, 2013.
Qualified applicants will be contacted for interviews to take place in late February/early March.   
Selected applicants must provide a copy of a social security card and photo ID for hiring purposes.

Please send applications to:


Bruce Crawford
The Rutgers Gardens
112 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8519
For more information please contact Bruce Crawford at 732-932-8451 or email
rugardens@aesop.rutgers.edu