Student’s Volunteer Botanical Internship Program 2014
Participants and Institutions
2014 represented the twenty-second year that the Student’s Volunteer Botanical Intern Program (SVBIP) has been run. A total of twenty-one applications were received for the Program with eleven interns representing nine institutions successfully completing the Program.
Output achieved by interns during 2014 was roughly equal to 64% of a year’s work (of an entry-level TO). Many supervisors provided positive feedback as to the accuracy and quality of the work achieved and the interns’ cheerful and enthusiastic approach.
Curatorial work was the major focus this year. Tasks included mounting and incorporation of vascular and non-vascular specimens, allocation of labels to specimens ready for mounting, moving of specimens to reflect changing taxon concepts and an impressive amount of assistance provided in Loans and Exchange.
Fieldwork in 2014 was planned to follow the well-established format of previous years. Weather conditions were better than in 2013, when a number of field trips were cancelled due to high fire danger. However, the field trip to Galong to talk with CMA representatives and look at rehabilitation sites was reorganised and cut slightly short due to high temperatures on the day.
The four day field trip to Jervis Bay proceeded smoothly this year. Interns surveyed a number of woodland and heath communities in Booderee National Park to practice their collecting techniques and acquire material to identify. A “Treasure Hunt” style mapping exercise was also conducted along with a search for a previous collection and was both enjoyable and enlightening. At Booderee Botanic Gardens staff member A.J. Roberts led a Koori bush food and medicine tour around the Gardens. Booderee National Park staff member, Scot Surridge, discussed park and reserve management issues with the interns. Natural Resources Management staff members were available to talk to the interns about their weed management program this year. In addition, interns visited the Mangrove Boardwalk at Huskisson and Fitzroy Falls. Centre staff led a walk at Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, focussing on the heath land flora, always particularly popular with the photographers in the group.
Concerns and Issues
The perennial problem of accommodation for interstate and international participants remains a major issue. One international student was unable to take up her offer due to financial issues in general while another had problems attaining an appropriate visa in time. All participants from out of Canberra students avoided the high priced ANU colleges again this year, finding short-term share accommodation off campus. One student stayed at UniLodge while three interns were accommodated by an ANBG staff member. The remaining interns were Canberra residents or were able to stay with friends or relatives. Accommodation costs are the single biggest issue mentioned by students undertaking the Program and assistance with finding short term accommodation is greatly appreciated.
The success of the 2014 Program is in no small part due to the considerable efforts of a number of Centre staff, outside academics and others who freely gave their time to present lectures and training sessions, as well as providing supervision for intern work teams. Thanks are also due to all CANBR and ANBG staff, especially those at the Herbarium, for their tolerance and enthusiasm during the course of the Program. I would particularly like to thank all those who once again provided invaluable support to the Internship Coordinator.
Student’s Volunteer Botanical Internship Program Participants 1993 – 2014
|ACT||Australian National University, Canberra||66|
|University of Canberra||19|
|Canberra Institute of Technology||14|
|Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra||7|
|Department of the Environment||2|
|Booderee Botanic Gardens, Jervis Bay||1|
|NSW||Macquarie University, Sydney||14|
|University of New England, Armidale||12|
|University of Technology, Sydney||10|
|Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga & Albury||13|
|University of Sydney||7|
|University of New South Wales, Sydney||7|
|University of Newcastle||11|
|University of Wollongong||7|
|Southern Cross University||1|
|Janet Cosh Herbarium (UW)||1|
|University of Western Sydney||1|
|TAFE NSW National Environment Centre Thurgoona||1|
|VIC||University of Melbourne||18|
|Latrobe University, Melbourne||4|
|University of Ballarat||1|
|Forestech, East Gippsland TAFE||1|
|QLD||James Cook University||14|
|University of Queensland||12|
|University of the Sunshine Coast||4|
|Queensland University of Technology||3|
|University of Southern Queensland||1|
|Metropolitan Institute of TAFE||2|
|Central Queensland University||1|
|NT||Charles Darwin University||2|
|SA||University of Adelaide||4|
|University of South Australia||1|
|TAS||University of Tasmania||3|
|Edith Cowan University||1|
|West Coast TAFE||1|