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Summer internships

The Herbarium at Kew, one of the largest of its kind, was founded in 1853 and houses 7 million dried and mounted plant specimens from almost every geographical region of the world.  It plays a vital role in providing training in areas such as plant identification techniques, taxonomic nomenclature and conservation.  It also acts as a centre for information exchange and a channel for networking between plant specialists, students and researchers in other related areas of study from around the world.

In 2010, we opened our new herbarium and library extension.  As a result we have more space to expand and to re-organise our collections.  Kew is currently arranged according to the original system established by the great botanists Bentham and Hooker in the nineteenth century.  Since then DNA studies have revolutionised our understanding of evolution and relationships in the plant world.  This is an exciting opportunity to bring Kew’s collections up-to-date with the latest scientific thinking: the first shake-up of our specimens in almost 150 years!

We are nearly 85% of the way through this mammoth task and the end is in sight! We are offering six internships this summer to help get closer to the finish of this momentous and historical project.  The positions are full-time, but are voluntary. RBG Kew can offer reimbursement for travel costs up to £8 per day. Primarily this project will involve moving specimens within the herbarium, re-classification of the collections and some curation work. In return we offer a series of lectures and plant identification ‘sorts’ to gain some practical knowledge and understand how this relates to the work in the herbarium.  You will get the chance to work with specialists in plant taxonomy and conservation and build relationships for the future.

If you are interested please send a covering letter and CV to Amélia Baracat, RBG Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, Tel: 020 8332 5718 or email by 1 May 2014. The internship programme will run from 7 July to 22 August 2014.

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