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U.S. Capitol Arboretum and Grounds-Plant Health Care (PHC) Specialist-Tue, 09/24/2019 - 2:26pm

Plant Health Care (PHC) Specialist


U.S. Capitol Arboretum and Grounds
U. S. Capitol, SB-15 washington
washington , DC 20515

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Job Description 

Capitol Grounds and Arboretum (CGA), Gardening Division is accepting applications for a Plant Specialist to serve as a Plant Health Care (PHC) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist and provide leadership for the pest, disease and nutrient management programs with special emphasis on providing innovative approaches to managing the health of the living assets of the Capitol campus.

Duties & Responsibilities 

The Plant Specialist will utilize biocontrol, integrated pest management and other advanced scientific plant health strategies and will be the lead CGA specialist collaborating with other specialist to safeguard the health of turf, trees and shrubs throughout the Capitol campus. Will also lead work performed by fulltime, seasonal and contract staff, and coordinate work activities with special events.
Plans, coordinates and conducts pest, nutrient and disease management. Develops overall strategies and provides expert guidance to gardeners, horticulturists and arborists. Develops novel management programs and evaluates efficacy.
Manages the overall plant health program and prepares reports informing staff of practices and challenges. Leads biocontrol programs with an emphasis on sustainability and visitor and employee safety. Maintains thorough records of methods used and their efficacy.

Serves as principal pesticide, herbicide, fungicide and other plant health related chemicals expert for CGA. Responsible for implementing, planning, organizing and maintaining a CGA pesticide license recertification program. Serves as coordinator and expert CGA 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, Safety Data Sheets and other technical information for pesticides following Federal and District of Columbia regulations. Maintains the inventory of pesticides in storage.

Designs sustainable and integrated plant health programs that meet the complex needs of CGA staffing, visitors, plant species (including culturally significant landscapes and memorial trees), environmental concerns and safety concerns.

Manages plant health risk as appropriate to a nationally significant arboretum with irreplaceable living specimens of outstanding horticultural or historical value. Liaise with AOC outreach staff to demonstrate sustainable plant health techniques to the public.
Ascertains the proper timing and degree of watering, pruning, feeding and insect and plant disease control. Tests and recommends soil amendments to improve landscape health. Tests and recommends appropriate fertilizer applications.

Education and Experience 

Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position or combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Specialized experience is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level.

Candidates for the GS-12 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service.

Specialized experience is defined as:
(1) Designing and managing a sustainable and integrated plant health program; (2) Caring for trees, shrubs, herbaceous and turf of the mid-Atlantic region; (3) Applying pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other plant health related chemicals, and their applicable safety laws and regulations; (4) Utilizing biocontrol methods and techniques; and (5) Using an array of diagnostic tools and skills to identify plant health care issues and determining methods to rehabilitate unhealthy plants. Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen.
You must be able to pass a drug test.
You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
You must possess a valid State motor vehicle operator's license.

Application Instructions 

for more information and to apply see

Full Name 
Ray T Mims