Ecological Design Intern

Ecological design internships offer real-world experience in the challenging and rewarding field of ecological design. Students will have an opportunity to help with large scale restoration projects, sustainable technology research and internal firm organization. The goal of the Ecological Research and Design Department is to increase landscape performance and ecological capacity through sustainable practices.

As an organized research unit of The University of Texas at Austin, the Wildflower Center has contributed to the advancement of scientific knowledge of green roofs, sustainable turfgrass, low impact development and stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), native ecosystem restoration, invasive species management, roadside revegetation and urban-wildland interface fire ecology. We also bring extensive and diverse experience from our work on high-impact projects for public and private clients, including national and regional parks, corporate headquarters, urban developments, institutional campuses, river and prairie restoration, state highways and botanic gardens.

Our Ecological Research and Design Department works with architects, landscape architects, engineers and multidisciplinary design teams to optimize the ecological, environmental and sociological function of landscapes. Our experience in scientific research, environmental design and professional and university education positions our group at the forefront of urban environmental issues and provides the foundation for our consulting services.


Depending upon current projects at time of internships, interns will assist environmental designers and land ecologists with consulting projects and research including design and implementation specifications, design graphics, fieldwork, data acquisition, on-site research projects, etc. Interns will have the opportunity to work in other departments of the Wildflower Center including horticulture, arboriculture, propagation, plant conservation and education.


Each intern is required to fulfill a minimum 20 hours per week during the times allotted for the individual program for which they are accepted. Candidates must be enrolled in landscape architecture, urban ecology, range management or a related field with an interest in ecological design. Candidates within a year of their graduation date will also be considered.

Internship Schedule

Application Deadline: March 11
Start Date: June 3
End Date: August 9

Please note that these are unpaid internships. One to three interns will be accepted. Housing is not provided, but assistance locating accommodations is available. Please inquire if necessary.

How to Apply

Applicants from the United States and abroad are encouraged to apply. All applicants must complete and send in the following:

  • Résumé with relevant coursework, work history and software proficiency
  • Official college transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation that reflect academic and work experience
  • One page cover letter stating your interest in ecological design, what you would like to gain through the internship and why you would like to intern at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center specifically
  • Portfolio of projects for Landscape Architecture students

Email cover letter, résumé, transcripts and letters of recommendation to Matt O’Toole. Please, no phone calls.

A criminal history background check is required for all candidates under consideration for Wildflower Center positions. The University of Texas at Austin is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to diversity at all levels. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability or veteran status.