Botanical Garden Assistant Positions

Hiring Organization: Highlands Biological Station
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Highlands, North Carolina
Application Deadline: March 15, 2021

Botanical Garden Assistant

Number Available: 2
Application Deadline: March 15th 20201
Compensation: $9.00 per hour/ 40 hours per week, with on-site housing free of charge
Duration: Beginning mid-May through August, specific start dates are negotiable


Highlands Biological Station (HBS) is a scientific research station focused on the research and
education of the natural heritage of the Highlands Plateau while preserving the biological
richness of the southern Appalachian Mountains. HBS is a multi-campus center of Western
Carolina University and is comprised of the Highlands Nature Center, Highlands Botanical
Garden, William Chambers Coker Laboratory, and the Richard C. Bruce Biodiversity Laboratory.
HBS also holds several on-site housing options for visiting researchers, students, and interns.

The Botanical Garden Assistant(s) will report to the Highlands Biological Station lead
Horticulturist and will be an integral member of the HBS staff. The selected applicants will assist
in identification, record-keeping, and maintenance of more than 450 native plant species. In
addition, they will help to maintain the grounds and gardens, trails, boardwalks, and bridges
throughout the 24-acre campus. This position will include working with the Garden Committees,
volunteer groups, and the public to interpret the natural history of the local ecology and identify
plant species within the garden. This is an exceptional learning opportunity aimed at gaining
valuable career experience caring for gardens and natural areas, planning and executing
projects, and working with volunteers.

Botanical Garden Assistants have the option of staying in on-site shared housing for the duration
of the summer, free of charge.


The ideal candidate should possess strong ornamental plant identification skills and a specific
interest in native plants. Priority will be given to students pursuing a degree in biology, botany,
horticulture, environmental science, or a related subject. Familiarity with southern Appalachian
plant species and/or prior public horticulture experience is desirable. Recent graduates are also
welcome to apply.


The successful applicants will assist in all aspects of botanic garden operations including the use
of proper horticultural practices such as planting, pruning, raking, weed management, trail
maintenance, curation and plant record keeping. Additional use of power tools will be expected.
They will gain hands-on experience identifying and cultivating native plants in a natural and
cultivated setting.

Must be able to walk, stand, or bend on uneven terrain; must be able to lift and carry up to 40
pounds and push up to 50 pounds.

Must be comfortable working from a ladder, lift and other high places.

Must be prepared to work outdoors under all conditions, including heat, cold, rain, and with
occasional exposure to poison ivy, biting and stinging insects.

Botanical Garden Assistants will be expected to work with volunteers, Garden Committee
members, and help with occasional weekend events.

Highlands Biological Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity. All
consideration for employment is decided upon without regard to race, color, religion, gender,
gender identity or expression, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran
status. Valid Driver’s License required.

To Apply

Please email or mail a resume, cover letter, and a list of three references to:
Rachel Martin, Horticulturist with the subject ‘Botanical Garden Assistant’
Highlands Biological Station
P.O. Box 580
265 North 6th Street
Highlands, NC 28741

Applications must be received or post-marked by March 15th, 2021