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Supervisor, Production-Nursery

Missouri Botanical Garden
Saint Louis County, Missouri, US
Closing date
Oct 19, 2021

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Summary: Supervises and performs all responsible duties associated with propagation, production and maintenance of plants at consistent levels of high quality amongst nursery site(s) and greenhouses. Duties are directly related to production of woody and herbaceous plant material, annual display crops, and plants for the Garden flower shows. Ensures living collections development is to be implemented through legal and ethical plant acquisitions, appropriate plant production, and accurate plant recording. Collaborates with Senior Manager Nursery as part of ensuring overall nursery procedures are efficient and effectively operational. Knowledgeable of production and maintenance schedules of all behind-the-scenes floriculture crops, living collections and nursery equipment functions. Provide recommendations for allocating budget resources for plant propagation, nursery supplies and other miscellaneous expenses, ensuring that expenses stay within approved budget. Work with horticulture supervisors to produce all requested plants for the Garden.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Oversee propagation, care and maintenance of all types of plant materials and seasonal crops (including but not limited to; watering, weeding, mulching, applying integrated pest management, monitoring and scouting crops, growth regulator applications, achieving necessary plant nutrient levels, sowing seeds, sticking cuttings, dividing plants, grafting, transplanting, pruning, and micro-propagation).
  • Ensure temperature, light and humidity in greenhouses are at the optimum level and perform routine white-washing maintenance
  • Monitor, identify and correct nutrient deficiencies
  • Monitor, identify and treat pests and diseases
  • Adjust irrigation systems, shade and ventilation in greenhouse
  • Monitor and maintain proper soil fertility
  • Sterilize and clean greenhouses and their contents periodically
  • Oversees the process of propagation for accessioned plants in the living collection, ensuring that associated accessions are accurately maintained through propagation and production
  • Assist Senior Manager Nursery with scheduling of crops and designating their growing locations
  • Assist Senior Manager Nursery in developing process protocols for increased efficiencies of plant production and overall work environment functions; aid Senior Manager Nursery with management of projects and complex procedures
  • Demonstrates ability to maintain, produce, and develop all crops and living collections in the nursery
  • Train, supervise and effectively utilize assigned staff, volunteers, and students/interns to complete job duties
  • Assist Senior Manager Nursery with acquiring/purchasing supplies and various types of plant material in a timely manner; follows up with suppliers making sure orders are received
  • Maintain general care of horticultural tools and technical equipment
  • Ensure that greenhouses and nursery equipment are functional; referring maintenance issues to the Senior Manager Nursery
  • Work area is consistently organized, neat and tidy; supervises cleanliness and organization of nursery facility
  • Identifies and implements sustainable practices associated to nursery operations
  • Utilize the Garden's Living Collections Management System to aid in maintaining and developing plant collections
  • Update the Living Collections Management System when a plant status has changed
  • Working with plant records staff, ensure that all plants are correctly accessioned in the Living Collections Management System
  • Maintain and ensure highest standards of plant record keeping are performed by nursery staff; ensure that plants are labeled with accession numbers and/or proper labels at all times
  • Complete periodic inventories of the nursery and greenhouses
  • Evaluate and address gap analyses of current living collections
  • Responsible for timely and accurate data entry of plant orders
  • Work within the Garden's Collections Master Plan and Living Collections Policy when developing living collections
  • Research, test, document and implement plant propagation and nursery cultivation techniques to ensure successful production in support of a diverse living collection
  • Facilitate and collect propagation material from the Garden's living collections to ensure survival of accessioned plant material
  • Travel internationally and nationally to acquire plant material, develop professional relationships, and to observe/consult other botanical institutions and their processes
  • Follow and be mindful of all appropriate legal and ethical processes when acquiring plants for the Garden; oblige with national and international permits and regulations including patent laws, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Conduct tours, lead presentations and answer visitor's questions about the Garden's plant collections and displays
  • May be required to teach classes, participate in TV and radio interviews; occasionally may be asked to write for publications
  • Responsible for ensuring nursery staff performs weekend watering duties
  • Ability to remove snow, ice, leaves, and results of storm damage from work environment
  • Ensure that all applicable safety standards are followed; adapt or modify work methods to reduce hazards; report all accidents, injuries and near-miss accidents immediately
  • Behave and communicate in a professional manner that promotes and fosters a culture of teamwork, cooperation, and respect within the Horticulture division and throughout the Garden with all employees, supervisors/managers, volunteers, visitors and others
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities: Varies; 2 to 6 employees (Horticulturists) and up to 50 volunteers

  • Communication: Combines listening skills, verbal and written communication skills and visitor relation skills.
  • Collaboration: Incorporates teamwork, mutual respect, active engagement, cooperation and visitor focus.
  • Accountability: Initiative to take ownership of responsibilities, the ability to prioritize and the working knowledge and skills to take action.
  • Problem Solving: Blends problem solving skills, judgement and decision making skills along with creativity and resourcefulness.
  • Stewardship: Merges the practical application of the Garden values and support for a positive organizational climate.

  • Minimum of (5) years hands on, relevant experience in plant production required and (2) years supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated experience in greenhouse production
  • Thorough understanding of propagation skills, greenhouse propagation techniques, and greenhouse mechanical systems
  • Demonstrated experience in planning/growing various greenhouse and nursery crops - annuals, tropicals, orchids, holiday crops, woody and herbaceous material
  • Strong knowledge of plant material and appropriate propagation and nursery production techniques
  • Strong knowledge of appropriate and effective watering practices
  • Foundational understanding of landscape design to assist in planning/scheduling of crops; thus, ensuring timely delivery
  • Working knowledge regarding the use of biological controls is preferred
  • Knowledge and application of greenhouse horticultural practices to include plant height control, day length sensitivity, pest management
  • Proficient ability to identify various greenhouse pests and pathogens, and apply sound, appropriate remedies
  • Proficient in operating and knowledge of safe operation procedures of various types of landscape maintenance equipment
  • Ability to present technical concepts to non-technical functional teams
  • Proven ability to lead and direct the work of others, including but not limited to volunteers is required
  • Demonstrates highest level of professional and ethical conduct; knowledge and understanding of organizational policies, procedures and systems
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels; must enjoy and feel comfortable interacting and working in close proximity to general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions regarding horticulture inquiries
  • Knowledge of and adherence to all health and safety guidelines
  • The requirements and duties listed are representative and not exhaustive of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required

  • B.S. degree in Horticulture, Biology, Botany and/or related field preferred
  • Associate's degree in Horticulture, Biology, Botany and/or related field required
  • An equivalent combination of skills, education and experience may be considered

Computer Skills:
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite (i.e., Word, Excel, Outlook) and Google
  • Solid Internet research skills
  • Ability to use e-mail to communicate with Garden staff and/or external professional contacts in order to answer questions and service their needs

Other Skills and Abilities: N/A

Language Skills:
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English (verbal and written)
  • Ability to read and understand pesticide labels

Mathematical Skills:
  • Requires ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; calculate percentages and decimals

Reasoning Ability:
  • Requires ability to exercise independent judgment to apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to problem resolution

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:
  • Ability to posses and maintain valid drivers and pesticide applicator licenses

Physical Demands:
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 80 lbs. (i.e., load, unload and move gardening supplies, medium to heavy weight tools and equipment)
  • Must be able to work in high heat and humidity
  • Requires standing, walking, bending, stooping and reaching for extended periods of time-- 80% or more of the workday is standing on feet
  • Ability to transport cumbersome potted plants and trays of varying weights
  • Ability to safely navigate narrow greenhouse aisles
  • Ability to operate equipment including tractors, forklifts, utility vehicles, sprayers, cultivators and mowing machinery
  • Ability to wear Garden-issued Personal Protective Equipment
  • May be required to perform tasks at varying heights (i.e., climb ladders, etc.)
  • Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing)

Work Environment:
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions (i.e., humid conditions, temperatures over 100F as well as temperatures below 0F, in rain, snow and other inclement weather conditions as needed)
  • 80% or more of the workday is standing on feet while watering or maintaining plants
  • Wet conditions much of the time as watering is frequent
  • Comfortable working in immediate proximity to general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering general questions regarding the Garden's operations, events, facilities, etc.

Contacts with Individuals/Organizations inside/outside the Garden:
  • Professional organizations
  • Garden employees, volunteers, guests
  • Horticulture staff that have requested plant materials
  • Occasional tour groups
  • Media

Other details
  • Pay Type Salary

Apply Now
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
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