Education and outreach at NYBG
Educational programs, internships, and citizen science opportunities.
The NYBG Graduate Studies Program trains Ph.D. and Master's students who are carrying out studies in systematics, genomics, economic botany, and other related fields such as forestry, ecology, bioinformatics, and conservation biology. The Program is operated in conjunction with six affiliated universities. Students apply to and enroll at one of these universities and complete the degree requirements of the school, but have full access to the staff, facilities, and research opportunities available at the Garden.
Each year, the Botanical Garden places 25–30 post-graduate, undergraduate, and high school interns in its diverse programs in plant science. Working directly with Garden scientists and their technical teams, interns participate in cutting-edge research in systematic botany, molecular phylogenetics, structural botany, genomics, bioinformatics, geographic information systems, and economic botany. Internships offer a taste of the culture of plant research, allow students to explore their interests in science, and provide excellent educational experiences to include in resumes.
The New York Botanical Garden Press is one of the largest publishing programs of any independent botanical garden in the world and provides a means for communication of research carried out by scientists at The New York Botanical Garden and elsewhere. Established in 1896, the program focuses on advancements in knowledge about the classification, utilization, and conservation of plants and fungi.
Citizen science, or public participation in scientific research (PPSR), is the use of scientifically-literate people to collect data, generate results, and generally conduct science. Citizen science projects have the ability to collect large amounts of data, due to large volunteer groups, but usually require technical or scientific staff to analyze data and decipher patterns.
At its simplest, citizen scientists collect data following clear protocols and report those back to researchers. At NYBG, most of our citizen science programs relate to seasonal changes in plants, animals, and the environment. At other science institutions, citizen science may involve genetic codes, molecule configurations, sun intensity, and even psychology research.
The Garden’s science training also includes offerings for teachers and students from pre-kindergarten through high school. Teacher training provides innovative, hands-on professional development opportunities for educators. A major goal is to provide teachers with the techniques and tools so that their students can perform authentic science. Explainer internships for high school and middle school students provide training in teaching plant science and nature to young children.
The Garden’s Adult Education Program offers more than 30 courses in plant science. In addition, the Botany Certificate Program allows students to select one of three areas of concentration: Field Botany, Plant Systematics, or Ethnobotany.