Hamilton Educational Fellowship


Bright purple-blue blooms of a bluebell against a vibrant green spring backdrop with white text that reads: Hamilton Educational Fellowship.

Hamilton Educational Fellowship
Department: Horticulture
Hours: Full-Time
Start Date: Flexible, ideally late April, 2023
How to Apply: Our 2023 Fellowship position has been filled. Please check back in November for the 2024 application.

The Hamilton Educational Fellowship provides an immersive educational experience in the unparalleled setting of Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens. Fellows will acquire specialized skills and practical knowledge that will benefit them in pursuit of a career in the fields of horticulture, botany, biology, or environmental resource management.

Successful applicants will work closely with both horticulture and administrative staff in diverse aspects of public garden management. In addition to practical horticultural experience, Fellows will learn volunteer management, plant propagation, greenhouse management, plant collections curation, and many facets of real estate maintenance. Fellows will also gain experience in public outreach by leading tours, giving lectures, writing articles, and assisting with educational programs and special events.

Fellowship Candidates  
Fellow candidates may be diverse in their educational backgrounds and future career goals and will be considered regardless of race, gender, or educational background. Candidates pursuing a career in horticulture, botany, biology, or environmental resource management are encouraged to apply. Previous education or practical experience in horticulture is desirable but not required.

Fellowship Term
The term of the Fellowship will be for either one or two years. After the first year, there will be an annual review and self-evaluation at which time a second year of the Fellowship may be granted. Completing two gardening seasons will help reinforce the educational experience. Fellows will have the opportunity to experience the full range of activities involved in maintaining a public garden through all four seasons.

Fellowship Obligations and Duties
Working closely with the Head Horticulturist and other horticulture staff, Fellows assist in the numerous activities required to maintain the Arboretum & Gardens on a year-round basis. Routine grounds-keeping and horticultural duties include planting, pruning, weeding, and mowing as well as assisting with non-routine duties such as snow removal and basic real estate maintenance. Additionally, Fellows must have the ability to learn and responsibly operate small power equipment such as backpack blowers and golf carts. Ability to perform physical duties in all weather conditions and lift 50 pounds or more is required.

Fellows will work with the Director of Horticulture to design, initiate, and implement a special project in furtherance of the Arboretum’s mission. Learn more about a current Fellow project here. In addition, Fellows gain experience in developing and delivering educational presentations to the Arboretum’s volunteer group. Fellows are also required to occasionally lead plant tours, teach classes, and write articles for the public. Finally, Fellows will have an opportunity to develop leadership skills by assisting in the supervision of volunteers.

Fellowship Housing, Benefits, and Compensation
Residency at the Arboretum is a requirement of the Fellowship and duties will be full-time. Housing will be provided at no cost and will not be shared with other staff members. Fellows will receive a competitive salary and an additional stipend to participate in professional development opportunities. There is the option to participate in Jenkins medical insurance and retirement program. 

Additional Background Information
The Fellowship at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens provides an exceptional opportunity to learn about two specialties:

Native plants and naturalistic landscape design
Fellows will be trained in environmental horticulture, Jenkins’ ecological approach to gardening. Gardening in this ecological context is the best long-term strategy for stewardship, conservation and sustainable landscape design.

Rhododendrons, azaleas, and related species
As a newly created public garden in 1976, the original “Master Plan for Development” specified and emphasized ericaceous plants in the scientific collections because of existing site conditions. Related ericaceous plants include mountain laurels, pieris, enkianthus, leucothoe, blueberries, and many others. Jenkins’ collections of both Rhododendron and Kalmia are nationally accredited through the American Public Gardens Association’s Plant Collection Network. 

Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens is a 48-acre public garden located in Devon, Pennsylvania. Since its inception in 1976, the mission of Jenkins has been to preserve natural tranquil woodlands for community enjoyment, to showcase native plants and a world class collection of rhododendrons and azaleas and to promote environmental horticulture through learning, research and conservation. Jenkins is open daily and is always free of admission.

2022 Hamilton Educational Fellowship Symposium – Watch it here.
2021 Hamilton Educational Fellowship Symposium – Watch it here.

How to Apply: Our 2023 Fellowship position has been filled. Please check back in November for the 2024 application.