U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG), Horticulture Division is accepting applications for a Plant Specialist to provide leadership for the Garden’s pest, disease and nutrient management programs with special emphasis on innovative approaches to managing the health of over 7,000 different plant taxa utilizing biocontrol, integrated pest management and other advanced plant health strategies.
GS 11 $72,030 to $93,638 per year
The U.S. Botanic Garden is comprised of approximately 70 positions organized into Administrative Services Division, Public Programs Division, Horticulture Division and an Operations Division. The USBG is dedicated to demonstrating the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological importance of plants to the well-being of humans. To meet this mission, the USBG provides memorable, educational experiences to over 1 million visitors annually, strives to break down barriers of inclusion, and hosts numerous congressional events each year.
Tour of duty is other than Monday through Friday, flexible schedule includes weekends, evenings and Holidays on a regular basis.
The selectee will be designated as an “Emergency Essential Employee” and will be required to work in emergency situations.
The selectee will be the lead specialist with broad purview over safeguarding the health of plants grown at the USBG.
Major Duties Include:
Coordinates with the supervisor to plan, coordinate and conduct pest, nutrient and disease management. Develops overall strategies and provides expert guidance to gardeners, horticulturists and arborists. Develops novel management programs and evaluates efficacy.
Serves as principal pesticide, herbicide, fungicide and other plant health related chemicals expert for the USBG. Responsible for implementing, planning, organizing and maintaining an AOC-wide pesticide license recertification program. Serves as coordinator and AOC consultant for all pesticide applications. Mixes, applies and disposes of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other related products. Applies chemicals in a manner to effectively control pests without creating a hazard to other workers and to visitors.
Ensures compliance with all safety regulations pertaining to the safe handling and use of pesticides. Follows directions on manufacturers’ labels. Maintains accurate records of pesticide usage. Maintains records of pesticide labels, Material Safety Data Sheets and other technical information for pesticides following Federal and District of Columbia regulations. Maintains the inventory of pesticides in storage.
Prepares safety reports as required by controlling regulations and AOC policy. Serves as primary technical contact regarding programmatic and enforcement aspects for the pesticide program under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
Guides USBG policy on safe and efficacious application of plant health promoting chemicals and practices.
Serves as principle liaison with plant health care researchers and specialist at United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Sentinel Plant Network and other national programs.
Designs sustainable and integrated plant health programs that meet the complex needs of USBG staffing, visitors, plant species (including rare and endangered specimens of particular value), environmental concerns and safety concerns.
Manages a robust biocontrol program in internal and external environments.
Manages plant health risk as appropriate to a nationally significant plant collection with irreplaceable living specimens of outstanding horticultural, conservation or historical value.
Serves as principal internal consultant for plant health related fertilizer and other cultural techniques. Works with growers to establish proper growing conditions for the plants. Considers factors such as temperature, humidity, ventilation and light levels. Ascertains the proper timing and degree of watering, trimming, pruning, feeding and insect and plant disease control. Tests and recommends soil mixes to improve plant health. Tests and recommends appropriate fertilizer applications.
Researches new plant health practices and guidelines related to the USBG collections. Collaborates with other experienced specialist in the field as appropriate and disseminates research results internally and through appropriate external channels.
Working with botanists and gardeners, provides experienced guidance on the production of temperate, tropical and subtropical, ornamental, native, rare and endangered and medicinal plants.
Determines and selects the best methods to rehabilitate unhealthy plants. Methods include special care of existing plants, propagation, or procurement by solicitation of donations of specimens.
Working with the Plant Curator, responsible for quarantine guidance and protocols to minimize chances of foreign pests and diseases establishing at USBG facilities.
Work activities take place at various USBG facilities. Operates government vehicles among work sites.
Is responsible for utilizing a thorough knowledge of and compliance with applicable AOC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety rules and regulations. Provides or receives training, either on the job or through classroom training, to ensure that required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is utilized.
Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.
Combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
For more information and to apply see: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/566520800