This job has expired

Native Plant Nursery Manager

Catalina Island Conservancy
Avalon, California
Closing date
Aug 21, 2019

View more

Conservation science
Botany, Ecology, Land Management
Job Level
Mid level
Salary Type
Employment Type

POSITION SUMMARY The NATIVE PLANT NURSERY MANAGER leads and manages all operations of the Ackerman Native Plant Nursery, including seed collection and management, plant propagation, staff recruitment and supervision, funding acquisition, retail plant sales, and outreach. In addition, the Nursery Manager provides oversight of the Catalina Island Conservancy Herbarium and Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden, and assists, where appropriate, with the native plant restoration program and Catalina Habitat Improvement and Restoration Program (CHIRP).  The Nursery serves a critical role as the foundation for the Conservation Department, CHIRP, and all native plant restoration programs on Catalina Island. 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES The Nursery Manager will perform any combination of the duties listed below as needed or assigned:

  • Manages the operation of the Ackerman Native Plant Nursery
  • Develops and implements, in conjunction with the Director of Conservation, annual and 5-year Nursery strategic plans
  • Coordinates, where necessary, activities with the Conservation Department CHIRP, GIS, and Wildlife programs as well as Operations.
  • Supervises one full-time technician, seasonal technicians, interns, and volunteers.
  • Recommends appropriate resource management practices to improve the ability of the Conservancy to accomplish its mission.
  • Effectively communicates progress and results through professional organizations and publications, staff training, presentations to general public, and internal/external media.
  • Identifies and pursues funding opportunities from foundations and government agencies to finance Nursery and Conservation projects.
  • Coordinates with government agencies, NGOs, universities, and colleges in the conservation of natural areas and open space in the Channel Islands and Southern California.
  • Performs essential administrative functions including, but not limited to, the following: develop and manage operating and capital budgets; purchase services and materials; maintain and care for equipment and tools; maintain payroll and human resource records; conduct performance evaluations for assigned employees; implement safety policy and procedures for assigned areas.
  • Manages and provides oversight to Facilities including but not limited to: Catalina Island Conservancy Herbarium and the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden.
  • Performs duties in a safe and efficient manner to maintain a safe work environment. Responds to hazardous situations/potentially unsafe conditions by taking corrective action and notifies supervisor.
  • Updates and enhances knowledge by continuing education for professional growth, i.e., attends relevant conferences, seminars, and certification programs.
  • Submits a yearly work program and performs other duties as needed or assigned.


  • Knowledge of and experience with Nursery Management
  • Experience managing projects and people including planning, scheduling, contracting, hiring, supervision and evaluation.
  • Knowledge of and experience with seed collection and management, plant propagation, and nursery operations.
  • Experience with herbaria and botanic gardens desired.
  • Experience managing, preparing, and implementing budgets and grants.
  • Strong applied horticultural, plant ecology, and management skills.
  • Ability to become quickly proficient in the flora, ecology, and natural history of Santa Catalina Island.


  • Able to think critically and creatively to develop solutions to complex nursery, conservation, facility operations, and land use problems.
  • Ability to adapt and respond to unexpected or unplanned ecological (e.g. fire, drought, new invasions) or programmatic (e.g. changes in organizational priorities or funding) circumstances while still progressing towards core program objectives.
  • Ability to work effectively on an interdisciplinary team balancing conservation, recreation, and education organizational goals.


  • Strong customer service skills (internal and external) extremely important. Ability to function and thrive within a complex, multi-goal (conservation, education, recreation) organization with diverse professional staff.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Able to effectively supervise assigned staff, contractors, interns, and volunteers.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a part of a team.

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: A strong interest in and experience with native plants, seed collection and management, plant propagation, nursery operations, and restoration ecology is expected. Education (MS preferred) and experience in Horticulture, Plant Science, Plant Ecology, Botany, Ecological Restoration, or similar field required. Nursery, herbaria, and botanic garden experience desirable. 


  • Employee must desire to live and work on Catalina Island.
  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The office environment has moderate noise levels and is a non-smoking environment. Field conditions are strongly weather-dependent and may be hot, dusty, cold, muddy, and/or wet depending on season and degree of exposure. Smoking is allowed only at limited designated locations on the island. Work may be conducted independently or with groups of staff and volunteers. Hiking conditions include steep, rugged terrain with unstable rocky substrate and cactus. Wild animals, including bison and rattlesnakes, may also be encountered in the field and pose some threat.
  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Position involves functioning in both field and office environments. The office environment has moderate noise levels and is a non-smoking. Field work involves manual labor, hiking long distances over rugged terrain and through dense scrub, and routine handling of plants. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert