Iowa: Seed Savers Exchange seeks Genetic Resources Preservation Intern

6 Jul

Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) is a non-profit, member supported organization dedicated to the genetic preservation of heirloom and open-pollinated food crops. As part of this mission, SSE permanently maintains a collection of thousands of endangered vegetable varieties, making us the largest non-governmental, publicly accessible seed bank in the United States.  Heritage Farm, our farm and headquarters, is an 890 acre farm with certified organic gardens, located in Decorah, Iowa.  Please visit our website at for more information. Your browser may not support display of this image.

In support of our mission, SSE is currently seeking a Genetic Resources Preservation (GRP) Intern to work with curatorial and horticultural staff on projects related to the maintenance of SSE’s seed collection.  Half of the internship will be project-based, focusing on developing a seed moisture testing program.  The other half of the internship will be spent assisting with and learning about various facets of our preservation activities.  Interns will gain experience in all aspects of seed production and genetic resources preservation.

Project responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to:

-Researching scientific literature

-Developing moisture curves for the plant species maintained in SSE’s collection

-Creating a protocol for working with a moisture balance (to compliment already established oven-drying methods)

-Documenting seed moisture content levels for freshly harvested seed and again after pre-drying

-Recording equilibrium moisture content levels achieved in the storage facilities utilized at SSE

General GRP work includes:
-Phenotypic characterization of plants in the field and lab
-Data collection and record keeping
-Digital scanning of specimens and field photography
-Germination test set-up

-Seed processing/cleaning

-Seed inventory

-A Bachelor’s degree in plant biology, horticulture, plant science or related field
-Experience with data collection and record keeping

-Experience working independently, preferably in a laboratory setting

-Ability to work outside in a wide range of weather conditions
-Applicants must have a valid driver’s license Your browser may not support display of this image.


This is a 40 hour/week position, scheduled to run from late July through the end of December.  Pay rate is $10/hr.

To apply, please e-mail a cover letter, resume (no more than 2 pages in length) and contact information for three references to  Please include ‘GRP Intern’ in the subject line of your email.   

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