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The Center for Plant DiversityFloral collage

Photo of Calochortus pulchellus

Calochortus pulchellus

Get Involved

Internship and Volunteer Opportunities in the UC Davis Herbarium

The UC Davis Herbarium and the Davis Botanical Society welcome volunteer and intern assistance. Please contact us: Ellen Dean (eadean@ucdavis.edu); phone (530)752-1091.

Davis Botanical Society Volunteers

The Davis Botanical Society welcomes volunteers to help us with the Society's field trips, presentations, mailings, newsletter, and many other activities. We are a friendly group of plant enthusiasts that love to learn more about plants and get outdoors to see them! Our field trips are memorable for both the plants that we see and the true enjoyment of the participants. We need your ideas, energy, and dedication.

Volunteers in the Herbarium

Volunteers work in the herbarium a minimum of two hours a week. Due to the training time that we invest in our volunteers, we request a time committment of at least three months (or one quarter). The following is a list of the projects that our volunteers have worked on over the past year:

  • Specimen filing
  • Label-making
  • Specimen mounting
  • Collections processing - curating one particular collection made by one collector. This may include making labels, matching labels to collections, and some plant identification
  • Organizing the library
  • Helping collect, identify, and arrange the Picnic Day exhibit plant specimens
  • Curating our slides
  • Plant collecting
  • Curating one part of the collections, for example the conifers or the ferns

Students in the Herbarium

Nearly all of our student interns have had some prior experience with plant identification by taking PLB 108 (Plant Taxonomy) or PLB 102 (California Floristics) or their equivalents. Interns are normally trained in as many aspects of collections management as time allows. This usually includes:

  • Specimen curation (insect management and freezing of specimens)
  • Specimen filing
  • Label-making
  • Specimen mounting
  • Plant identification
  • Use of taxonomic literature
  • Understanding type specimens and synonymy

If the student has a particular interest that they want to pursue in the herbarium, other projects are possible. For example one of our students researched our Ethnobotany of California exhibit that we included in our Picnic Day display. Advanced students may like to curate a particular area of the collection, updating the nomenclature of the specimens or confirming plant identifications.


Interested? Please call (530)752-1091