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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden-Plant Records Curator-Thu, 03/28/2019 - 10:26am

Plant Records Curator


Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
1800 Lakeside Avenue
Richmond , VA 23228

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Job Description 

Garden Overview:
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was founded in 1984 as a community oriented, nonprofit garden. After 34 years, the Garden now encompasses 82 acres, four lakes, 5,700 unique taxa of plants within 15 distinct outdoor gardens, 11 major buildings including a conservatory and greenhouse, plus an 80-acre branch site, the Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve. In 2018 we welcomed, taught, energized, and engaged nearly 400,000 guests with stunning botanical displays, inspiring exhibitions, entertaining activities, and over 800 formal and informal education offerings. We embarked on new and promising community engagement initiatives through the Beautiful RVA movement. We updated the strategic plan and continued priority project planning within the scope of the 2016 master site plan. Our 100 full- and part-time staff joined with 650 volunteers and 12,000 member households to live into the Garden’s mission to connect people through plants to improve communities.

We do this through a broad variety of mission related activities and enterprise business services. We try to pattern ourselves on extraordinary programs and institutions nationwide, and where there are no examples, we intend to lead. We aspire to be a Garden that is representative in every way of the diverse community we serve.

Our next Plant Records Curator will be an enthusiastic and detail-oriented individual who is familiar with plant records management processes and procedures. He / she will have strong organization and curation skills, be able to work independently and collaboratively, and will possess a keen interest in plants of all types. In addition, the ideal candidate will be forward thinking, accepting of change, and have a strong commitment to public horticulture.

Position Description:
The Plant Records Curator is responsible for maintaining all plant related records including the plant records database, files of plants received, accession tags and display labels, and electronic maps. This position works under the general supervision of the Director of Horticulture and reports to the Horticulture Manager for the coordination of daily activities, attendance, and other operational procedures.

Duties & Responsibilities 

Primary Responsibilities:
• Accession all woody and herbaceous plants at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and the Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve in accordance with accessioning protocols.
• Maintain IrisBG plant records database files including plant accessions, names, locations, and sources. Update files on a regular basis to accurately reflect the composition of the living collections including plant-outs and removals.
• Maintain electronic maps of woody and herbaceous collections using IrisBG Garden Explorer and GPS transmitter. Update maps on a regular basis.
• Serve as primary institutional contact with IrisBG technical staff. Troubleshoot database problems and coordinate periodic software upgrades.
• Identify plants using botanical references and by comparison with other named specimens.
• Verify plant names using botanical references. Update plant record database to reflect nomenclatural changes.
• Maintain accurate labeling; coordinate and produce embossed aluminum plant accession tags and engraved plastic display labels and affix them to plant specimens in the field. Oversee tag embosser and label engraver operation by staff and volunteers.

Additional Responsibilities:
• Coordinate periodic inventories of the plant collections.
• Review collections for proper identification using taxonomic keys, herbaria, and other references.
• Track plant specimens that are part of the garden’s Memorial Tribute Program, including plant name and location, recipient and donor name, contact information, memorial wording, etc.
• Supervise the plant records activities of seasonal staff, interns, and volunteers.
• Maintain plant records supplies including accession tag blanks, display label engraving stock, and mounting stakes and wire. Submit requisitions for purchases.
• Provide information on LGBG plant collections to staff, board members, donors, horticultural professionals, and the public in the form of plant lists and maps for the production of reports, newsletters, blog posts, brochures, press releases, etc.
• Assist with preparation of yearly Index Seminum international seed exchange.
• Participate in garden-wide events, exhibitions, and group projects, when required.
• Assist with preparation of Plant Records budget.
• Work collaboratively with other divisions to fulfill the Garden’s mission and accomplish its goals.
• Perform other duties as assigned by the Director of Horticulture or his/her designee.

Education and Experience 

• A Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture, Botany, Plant Science, or a related field.
• Two years professional experience managing and maintaining botanical garden records.
• Proficiency in the use of IrisBG Collections Management Software and Microsoft Office applications is required.
• Possession of a valid driver's license.
• Other combinations of education / experience appropriate to the job will be considered.

Applicant should also display:
• An understanding of standard plant collections curatorial practices and procedures.
• Familiarity with IrisBG collections management software and IrisBG Garden Explorer GIS software.
• The ability to identify a wide variety of trees, shrubs, vines, herbaceous perennials, and annuals suitable for cultivation in central Virginia. Familiarity with tropicals helpful.
• Familiar with horticultural taxonomy.
• An understanding of the principals of horticultural nomenclature.
• Willingness to work with staff and volunteers of all ages and from all backgrounds.

Application Instructions 

Please submit cover letter, resume, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Job Application to
John Morse, Director of Horticulture, at The full job description can be viewed on the Lewis Ginter website.

Full Name 
John Morse