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Students in Lyman

As a student at Smith College, you literally live in a botanic garden. From the trees of our historic arboretum, to the beautiful gardens, our campus is full of botanical treasures and ways for you to connect to them. Do you want to pursue research in botany, ecology or landscape history? Explore the intersection of plants and human culture? Or simply recharge under a chocolate tree in the depths of winter? The world of plants is vast and so are the opportunities waiting for you. 

Stay in the Know

Want to be the first to hear about botanic garden opportunities? Sign-up for our student newsletter and follow us on social media

Ways to Get Involved

We are a botanic garden for the liberal arts. This means that we work with nearly every department on campus, connecting students to our spaces and collections through diverse academic lenses. Do you want support in figuring out how to study plants at Smith? We are here to help

Here are some common ways students connect with the botanic garden include: 

  • Taking a plant focused course 
  • Doing a Special Studies 
  • Conducting research on our collections, spaces, or users
  • Interviewing staff about our work
  • Exhibiting art in our galleries or on campus
  • Enrolling in the Environmental Concentration 

Students are an essential part of the botanic garden’s operations. They support our conservatory and outdoor collections, work at our front desk and lead our educational and outreach efforts through the Botanic Garden Student Educator (BoGSE) program. Students are also paid to conduct research and assist with our conservation efforts. In order to be as equitable as possible, the botanic garden does not allow Smith students to volunteer. We encourage students to find paid opportunities through Workday, or to explore working with us for academic credit. 

Year Long

Academic Year 



We regularly offer workshops, host events and collaborate with students on co-curricular initiatives. 

Take a workshop with our Botanic Garden Student Educators (BoGSEs)

BoGSEs offer workshops throughout the year on topics such as botanical body care, tea blending and plant propagation. Workshops are open to groups and are scheduled on a first come basis. Pre-registration required

Get Plant Help 

  • Need help with your plant? Explore ways that the botanic garden can support you in caring for your plants. *Please note that we cannot plant-sit over breaks. 

  • Schedule a plant repotting session with our BoGSEs. 

  • For more technical questions, consider attending one of our plant clinics. Clinics will be announced on our social media, or you can sign-up for our newsletter.


Attend an Event

  • Attend a Late Night at Lyman event, which take place the first Thursday evening of our Flower Shows. Late Night events take place from 7-9pm and are a time for students to explore botanical activities and the greenhouses at night. Sign up for our newsletter to get reminders of events or follow on social media.

  • Attend lectures and flower shows

  • Use Lyman for photoshoots, events, or gatherings. Contact us for details. 

The Learning Garden is a student managed gardening space behind Northrop and Gillett Houses and next to Lamont House. The Learning Garden features raised beds for vegetables and herbs, cut flowers, and pollinator friendly perennial plantings.