We value the contributions of our Conservation Interns, and we provide them with opportunities to build their professional resumes with specialized skills and real-world experiences in conservation horticulture, restoration ecology, and habitat management. We are looking for people who are passionate about conservation and who are willing to learn our techniques, procedures, and philosophies. We have different levels of support for our internships, from hourly pay to travel compensation to intern-volunteers who support themselves while working with us. There is much work to do, it is good and satisfying work, and we need more folks doing it!

Graduate Students

There is nothing like having a student focus on a conservation project for the term of their thesis or dissertation! SBG supports a conservation graduate student who works both in a UGA department on campus and at the Botanical Garden. These students work with our Director of Research, Dr. Jim Affolter. Graduate students work alongside SBG Conservation Program staff on all of our conservation projects, building their professionals skills and experiences beyond their scientific studies on everything from plant identification to managing volunteers and networks to conservation horticulture, monitoring, and restoration. Our graduate students are valued and nurtured at the SBG! And we are grateful for the quality work they produce!

Endangered Plant Stewardship Network

Educator Training

The Endangered Plant Stewardship Network (EPSN) enables Georgia students to care for endangered plants on their school site. The education staff has worked closely with the research and conservation staff at the Garden to develop this program. The professional development component for educators emphasizes rare plants, threatened habitats and conservation biology as a training ground for science education. 1-2 PLUs are awarded upon completion of the workshop.

Certificate in Native Plants

Have you ever considered a career in plant biology, plant ecology or horticulture? Ever wanted to assist in the conservational efforts of your local community? Our Certificate in Native Plants is the perfect opportunity for dedicated individuals to explore and develop these interests. The program includes a comprehensive series of courses that demonstrate the identification, cultivation and propagation of Georgia’s native plants while emphasizing participatory learning. Courses discuss the ecological significance of native plants and provide participants with the conservational know-how employed by hobbyists and professionals alike. Whether you are pursuing a career in plant conservation or simply seeking to become a more knowledgeable global citizen, the Certificate in Native Plants will provide you with the tools necessary to do so.

The certificate requires 80 hours of participation: four 8-hour core courses, six 4-hour electives, two 4-hour field trips and 16 hours of volunteer service. This one-of-a-kind opportunity allows participants to work alongside botanists, foresters, wildlife biologists and, of course, our passionate Garden staff and educators.

For more information on the Certificate in Native plants, including applications and general course information, email us at

Professional Workshops

Sharing and collaborating are two ways our programs accomplish a diverse array of conservation, restoration, and plant production projects. We host professional training workshops, classes, and sessions using our classrooms, collections, displays, and natural areas. We are particularly focused on restoration of Piedmont plant communities such as floodplains and prairies and are developing new land management techniques and seed recipes for roadside, rights-of-way, food plot, old field, and pasture land managers. Through our workshops, we share ideas and latest applications of natives for restoration, refining our techniques by working with professionals who do this land management work daily.

Contact Our Research Department

To Learn About Conservation Projects and Find Out How You Can Help

(706) 542-6448

Jim Affolter

Director of Research

Linda Chafin

Conservation Botanist

Heather Alley

Conservation Horticulturalist

Jennifer Ceska

Conservation Coordinator