Greenhouse Horticulturist

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not Specified
Feb 02, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Botanic Garden Job Description


The Botanic Garden of Smith College is seeking a skilled greenhouse horticulturist and teammate to join our staff and help advance our mission of fostering environmental and social justice through teaching and learning about plants, people, and place. Interested candidates who meet the minimum qualification requirements, have three or more years’ experience performing at least 70% of the listed job responsibilities, and who enjoy introducing people to the botanical world are encouraged to apply.

This position is part of a collective bargaining unit. The starting wage is $23.02 with an expected increase to $24.37 (dependent upon 2022-2025 contract negotiations) after successful completion of one year of employment.

Job Summary

With guidance from the Conservatory Curator, apply horticultural knowledge, interpersonal skills, and passion for connecting people to plants to facilitate object-based teaching and learning by caring for living plant collections. Perform a broad range of horticultural, curatorial, and operational responsibilities essential to maintaining the Botanic Garden of Smith College’s tropical and temperate plant collections for visitors, educators, and learners.

Take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participates in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

When applying submit a single PDF or Word document containing all of the following: 1) a letter of interest/cover letter; 2) a resume of applicable experiences, training and education; and 3) a list of 2-3 references.

Essential Functions

Plant Cultivation

Apply horticultural expertise to the care and management of a geographically and taxonomically diverse collection of plants in order to produce healthy specimens. Propagate plants from seed, cuttings, divisions, and other clonal techniques. Fertilize and irrigate collections. Prune, support, and stake plants in ways that are appropriate for the specimen. Detect, identify, and treat plant diseases and pests. Plant and repot plants as needed. Monitor and adjust environmental conditions and automated systems to optimize plant growth. Support landscape curators and gardeners by caring for plants in Capen Garden Greenhouse on weekends, holidays, and on weekdays with advance warning.

Curation, Display, Education, and Experiential Learning

Ensure collections are displayed and maintained in ways that maximize their use in teaching and learning. Work with the Conservatory Curator to conceptualize, plan, produce, install, and maintain annual plant shows. Inventory, identify, and label specimens. Maintain accurate database records. Contribute to the development and delivery of interpretation, tours, and educational materials. Mentor student workers, interns, and other workers assigned to the conservatory.

Facilities Management

Ensure plants and conservatory spaces are clean and safe for visitors by weeding; removing dead plant matter, dirt, and debris; monitoring, repairing, and reporting building and equipment conditions and safety issues. Apply and remove greenhouse whitewash. Maintain greenhouse gutters. Monitor and maintain conservatory hardscapes, paths, seating areas, and display benches so they are safe and structurally sound. Receive, inventory, and warehouse horticultural supplies. Report significant issues to the appropriate person through the college’s work order system and ensure work is completed satisfactorily and in a timely manner.

Institutional Service

Participate in planning, strategic priorities, interdepartmental initiatives, and staff development that enhances the Botanic Garden’s overall impact. Serve as a resource to Botanic Garden colleagues. Perform duties as is operationally required for the Botanic Garden to function efficiently, which infrequently may mean supporting gardeners and curator in the greenhouses or in the outdoor gardens and arboretum.

All employees are expected to participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Minimum Qualifications

Associate’s Degree (Bachelor's Degree preferred) in horticulture, biology, ecology, or a related field plus a minimum of three years of experience with conservatory horticulture. or an equivalent combination of experience and education. Broad knowledge in tropical and temperate plant identification and the cultural needs of diverse groups of greenhouse plants as demonstrated by examination. Ability to gain knowledge of the specific horticultural needs of taxa through literature review, networking, and firsthand observation of plants.

Required Skills

Valid driver’s license required. Must complete and comply with all College driving credentialing requirements. Upon award of this position, a Division of Motor Vehicles background check will be completed.
Massachusetts Private Pesticide Applicator’s license or ability to receive a core certification within 6 months and a private license within 12 months of starting position.
Ability to understand written and verbal instructions.
Ability to use horticultural chemicals, hand tools, and general horticultural equipment safely and effectively.
Ability and willingness to apply organic and non-organic pesticides and other horticultural chemicals safely, effectively, and in compliance with labels and state/federal regulations.
Ability to independently make sound and correct decisions on the care of conservatory plants.
Ability to accurately identify and label accessions.
Ability to send and receive digital communications in a timely manner.
Ability and desire to interact courteously and professionally with visitors of all ages, backgrounds and identities, cognitive abilities, and levels of knowledge.
Ability and willingness to use appropriate technology (including Google suite, IrisBG, Microsoft suite, social media apps, spatial analysis software, label printing software, and environmental control software), horticultural methodologies, and updates in the scientific literature.
Ability to work with others as a team to accomplish high priority jobs as they arise.
Ability to supervise student workers, interns, and other labor.
Ability to lift 40 pounds alone and 80 pounds with the assistance of others.
Ability to climb a ladder to 25 feet.
Ability to stand, kneel, sit, and move for extended periods of time.

Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Additional information

Corrected Schedule: This position is scheduled to work Tuesday through Saturday, 8am-4pm; required to be on duty every third holiday.

This position is part of a joint labor union agreement.

Anti-Bias Hiring Process

A number of anti-bias measures are being taken to ensure a fair and equitable search, including training the search committee on how to avoid bias in hiring and blinding the search committee to the protected statuses of applications--including gender identity and expression, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and ability/disability--during the initial review of applicants. For these reasons, we ask that interested candidates:

  • Submit a single PDF or Word document containing 1) a letter of interest/cover letter, 2) a resume of applicable experiences, training, and education, and 3) a list of 2 or 3 references.

  • Please do not contact Botanic Garden staff directly. Individuals seeking to recommend or nominate candidates should encourage those candidates to apply through the Smith College website.

  • Applicants should direct any and all questions to with the subject line “Horticulturist Search Question”.

Note: This position is being re-posted for 5 business days. Applications must be submitted by March 3, 2021 at 4:30 PM Eastern time. Applicants should expect a protracted search process given the measures being taken to ensure a fair and equitable search. Candidates who are not selected for interviews will be notified when the search is complete.

It is the policy of Smith College to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions. Candidates from under-represented communities are encouraged to apply.

Please attach BOTH a current resume and a cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position . You may combine your resume and cover letter into a single file or attach multiple files to your application, but BE SURE you have provided all attachments BEFORE SUBMITTING your application. You will NOT be able to attach additional files after you have hit the Submit button.

Review of applications will begin

March 5, 2021

Compensation Grade:

Grade 263 6a

Position Type:


About Smith College

Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.

Smith College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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