Visitor Engagement Fellowship

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Job Type: Fellowship


Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin upon submission.

Position Summary:
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is seeking candidates for its 2018 Visitor Engagement Fellowship (a two-year term appointment). The Visitor Engagement Fellow is part of the Arboretum’s Education and Public Programs team and supports projects and initiatives that encourage visitors to engage with the Arboretum’s celebrated plant collection and rich history. Additionally, this position allows an individual to collaborate with public garden professionals working across a range of disciplines including horticulture, curation, library sciences, and research. The Visitor Engagement Fellow will lead a large-scale project for the duration of the position.

The Visitor Engagement Fellow’s primary responsibility is the development of the Arboretum’s upcoming mobile tour app that will focus on plant exploration. Expeditions: The Mobile Arnold Arboretum Tour will offer visitors a unique multimedia experience through their mobile devices. The Expeditions mobile app will merge compelling stories from the institution’s past with real-time exploration of the Living Collection, transporting visitors through the Arboretum’s history as they walk the grounds. Through independent research and collaboration with Arboretum staff, the Visitor Engagement Fellow will uncover narratives from a century’s worth of plant exploration, and bring the Arboretum’s collections and historical archives to life through sound, video, images, and descriptive text.

Over the duration of this two-year position, the Visitor Engagement Fellow will work closely with the Manager of Visitor Engagement to manage all aspects of mobile tour production, including planning, research, content development and inventory, layout and design, editing and quality control, relationships with external vendors and contractors, and mobile app maintenance. Following an orientation period, the Fellow will have the opportunity to immerse him/herself in the Arboretum’s archives and living collection while developing interpretative skills. Working within the project timeline, the Fellow will exert creative control over many aspects of the Expeditions experience. Following the development phase, the Fellow will play a supportive role in marketing and outreach leading up to the launch of the Expeditions app, and then monitor and assess its effectiveness. Finally, the Fellow will develop a framework for future applications of the Expeditions mobile app and integration with other programs and digital resources at the Arboretum.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

Applications are sought from individuals with a degree in museum studies, archival studies, literature, history of science, horticulture, botany, or related fields. Applicants should have experience translating archival and educational content into engaging and relevant stories and/or creative writing experience.

Additional Qualifications

MS preferred.  Applicants should be well positioned to work on a large-scale project that will require time management, self-directed and detail-oriented research, multimedia content creation, collaboration with multiple people and independent work on project-based assignments. Applicants are expected to be fluent in English, with strong written and oral communication skills.

Experience with horticulture, plant biology, history of science, or collections interpretation is strongly preferred. Prior publication and experience with digital publishing platforms is strongly preferred. Familiarity with graphic design software (Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere), web design, and content management is desirable.

Additional Information

Fellowship Details:

The Fellowship provides an annual stipend of $48,000, and as an employee of Harvard University, the Fellow is eligible for health insurance and other benefits.
The Fellow is expected to engage fully in the professional activities of the Arnold Arboretum and to work collaboratively with Arboretum staff on other institutional efforts.

The Fellowship is typically awarded for two years, pending a satisfactory progress report at the end of the first year.

Application Process: 
The Fellowship is awarded through a competitive review process. To be considered, applicants should submit the following in PDF format:

  • Cover letter.
  • Statement of purpose (2 pages maximum). The statement of purpose should clearly depict the applicant’s (i) interest in the Fellowship at the Arnold Arboretum; (ii) statement of future career goals and how the Fellowship furthers those objectives; (iii) proven successful project management abilities.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Three letters of recommendation.

Posted: May 21, 2018