Living Collections Fellow

One Year Funded Position (May 2016-April 2017)

Full-time, Paid Fellowship

Leominster, MA (other sites may be considered)

The Trustees is an organization with a fascinating past and an exciting future. Our places are open to all and we thrive by involving as many people as possible in what we do. Founded in 1891, by a group of visionary volunteers, we preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts and work to protect special places across the state. We have helped protect more than 50,000 acres, including 25,000+ acres on more than 100 reservations that are all open to the public. We are a nonprofit conservation organization funded and supported entirely by our visitors, supporters, volunteers, and more than 40,000 members.

The Trustees Public Gardens

The Trustees collection of twelve garden properties represents extraordinary works of landscape architecture made exceptional by their juxtaposition to outstanding natural scenery. Ranging from 1 to 165 acres, they span climatic conditions from the temperate (Martha’s Vineyard) to the extreme (the Berkshires). Each property blends great scenic beauty, important ecological habitat and nationally renowned buildings and gardens with plantings that range from rare historic or native species to one-of-a-kind cultivars. Visitor experiences at these sites stress the delicate balance between the designed and the natural, between introduced and indigenous plantings, and the impacts of people on place.

The Trustees of Reservations is looking to revitalize, energize and publicize its garden properties. Programming will bring horticultural collections to life for everyone, from the experienced connoisseur to the inquisitive child. Improved stewardship will revitalize important design and horticultural details and build a sustainable long term maintenance program.

Position Summary:

The Living Collections Fellow (LCF) will join the organization’s Horticulture Team in the implementation of the initial stages of mapping, cataloging, and labeling the trees and shrubs on The Trustees’ public garden properties. This is a one-year funded position that will work closely with the Living Collections Manager to create basemaps of the gardens, enter plant records data, create and attach labels to the plants, and write procedural documents. The LCF will also conduct a horticulture research project on a mutually agreed-upon topic to add to our understanding of the role that the plant collections play in The Trustees’ public garden collection and beyond. The hope is that the LCF will publish a short article about their project, and that this will add to his or her scholarship portfolio.

Essential Functions:

  • Implements the Trustees’ exceptional standard of database accuracy as directed by the Living Collections Manager.
  • Assists with efficient data entry from written or electronic plant records into the IrisBG botanical garden collection management database.
  • Assists in the creation of base maps of The Trustees’ 12 public garden properties.
  • Assists with the mapping of woody plants on The Trustees’ 12 public garden properties.
  • Collaborates with horticulture, stewardship, and engagement staff to ensure the accuracy of plant records.
  • Collaborates with horticulture and engagement staff to meet the plant labeling needs of the visitors to the public garden properties.
  • Under the leadership of the Director of Horticulture and the Living Collections Manager, assures that the Trustees’ Living Collections Policies are maintained and followed.
  • Positively motivates and supervises volunteers in accurate data entry, labeling of the woody plants, plant identification and cultural research as it pertains to the plants and gardens at The Trustees.
  • Other duties as assigned with or without accommodation.
The Fellowship is open to horticulture or botany professionals who have received a graduate degree or have completed a post-baccalaureate internship or certificate in plant records, plant curation, horticulture, public horticulture, botany, or a related field. Candidates should have some collections management and database experience, and an understanding of plant nomenclature and taxonomy. In addition, candidates should satisfy these criteria:

  • Self-starter with the ability to work alone or with others.
  • In-depth knowledge of woody plants in a horticultural setting.
  • Hands-on experience and understanding of plant nomenclatural standards and practices in a public garden environment.
  • Some training and hands-on experience with Iris BG, plant collections management and plant curation.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and strength in oral and written communications, including the ability to build a strong collaborative working environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of horticultural care and conservation, cataloguing, stewardship and applied practice.
  • Ability to maintain effective working relationships at all levels of the organization including staff, volunteers, donors, trustees, and diverse public constituencies.
  • Demonstrated skills in creative problem-solving and strategic analysis and planning.
  • Strength in oral and written communications and the management of multiple tasks.
  • A proven, passionate commitment to the values and mission represented by The Trustees.

Other Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license and satisfactory driving record is required for driving Trustees vehicles.
  • Background check required.
  • Position requires travel across the state; access to a personal vehicle required.
  • Flexibility to work occasional nights and weekends is required.
How To Apply:
APPLY NOW – Living Collections Fellow
Click here to see all job opportunities at The Trustees of Reservations
This is a one-year, paid fellowship, with an optimal start date in April or May 2016. The Fellow may also receive a modest professional development stipend to attend conferences, classes, or workshops. This position will be based out of Leominster, MA, though office location at other Trustees campuses may be considered.

The Trustees offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision insurance, life and disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, vacation, sick and personal time, as well as the option to participate in our 401(k) and 529 savings plans. We also offer the opportunity to be part of a dedicated team across the Commonwealth who love the outdoors, who love the distinctive charms of New England, and who believe in celebrating and protecting our special places, for everyone, forever.

No phone calls please.

In addition to being an Equal Opportunity Employer, The Trustees of Reservations aim to create a thriving, inclusive workplace that values each member of our team. We aspire to reflect and effectively serve the residents and communities of Massachusetts who are at the core of our mission.

Apply by:
May 18, 2016