USDA-ARS Plant Germplasm Curation Internship: Maryland

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Beltsville, Maryland
Job Category
Monthly Stipend TBD
Last Date to Apply
ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit (FNPRU), the research division of the US National Arboretum (USNA). The FNPRU research laboratories are location in Beltsville, Maryland as part of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) while the USNA is in NE Washington DC. The USNA is a 451 acre public garden and research facility with a mission is to enhance the economic, environmental, and aesthetic value of ornamental and landscape plants through long-term, multi-disciplinary research, conservation of genetic resources, and interpretative gardens and exhibits. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence. Research Project: The Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository (WLPGR) is the USDA-ARS designated gene bank for over 200 genera of temperate trees, shrubs, and lianas. The WLPGR is responsible for the collection, characterization, maintenance, regeneration, and distribution of germplasm and associated information in order to benefit plant conservation and the broader scientific community. The selected participant will primarily be involved in the curation and management of the germplasm collections which include living plants at the US National Arboretum and a satellite research farm in Maryland; the WLPGR seed bank collections stored at -20C; the USNA Herbarium collections, and living germplasm maintained in vitro and other plant production areas. Curatorial research activities will include the collection, analysis, management, and dissemination of germplasm-associated data in the GRIN-Global database. Curatorial processes guide the acquisition, characterization, management, and divestment of woody-plant germplasm accessions managed within the National Plant Germplasm System. Collections management activities will include data collection, mapping, seed viability testing, seed cleaning and processing, plant propagation and production, collections inventory, pruning, and scouting. Learning Objectives: The participant will learn how to manage plant germplasm and associated data in the context of a USDA-ARS germplasm repository and Public Garden. As a result of this training, the participant will improve their skills in data collection and data management; the use of GRIN -Global software; plant identification and taxonomy; conducting field inventory research including use of GIS; conducting spatial and taxonomic gap analysis of plant germplasm collections; and key plant curatorial activities including accessioning, labeling, and evaluating. Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Todd Rounsaville ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s). Anticipated Appointment Start Date: 2023. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors. Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds. Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time. Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only. ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process, please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor's or master's degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before June 1, 2023. Degree must have been received within the past five years.
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