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ESF Greenhouses
Work Study Assistant Opportunities

The Department of Environmental Biology greenhouse complex plays a critical role in the education of SUNY-ESF and Syracuse University students, provides research space for students and faculty, and houses a unique collection of plants from around the world for residents of upstate New York to explore and enjoy.

To accomplish all of the expectations above requires the year-round efforts of a cadre of students employed through the Federal Work-Study Program.

Generally, during the academic year, three students are employed for approximately ten to fifteen hours per week, each. During the summer, one student is usually employed full-time (35 hours per week) for approximately fifteen weeks.

The greenhouse complex can be a fascinating place to work. Successful work-study candidates often find it to be one of their most memorable college experiences because of the facility's unique setting on the roof of Illick Hall - and the fact that you get paid to play with plants! In fact, SUNY ESF students consistently identify the greenhouses as one of the most "sacred" spaces on the main campus.

At the same time, a greenhouse work-study assistant position is not among the easiest, nor most glamorous work-study positions on campus. Dragging wet garden hoses and heavy pots around for several hours a day can be tiring and dirty. And, while the greenhouses can be a delightful place to spend a cold, winter day, it is often well over 100F and extremely humid during the summer months!

Also, unlike other work-study opportunities, the consequences for not coming to work for any of a variety of reasons will be deadly - for the plants!

If plants go dry even once - they're toast! Needless to say, this is not a good thing for the plants, or for the greenhouse manager whose responsibility it is to keep the plants alive.

To avoid the scenario above from occurring, the summer greenhouse work-study employee will likely work at least one-half day, or more, depending upon weather conditions, most weekends. Meanwhile, academic year employees will likely work one-half day every second or third weekend.

If this still sounds like the right work-study opportunity for you, visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Federal Work-Study Program webpage to learn more about the program. Of course, you can also visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Room 113 Bray Hall.

Academic year positions, if available, are generally posted four to six weeks prior to the beginning of the academic year, and the summer position is posted approximately four to six weeks prior to the end of the spring semester.