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Horticulture Curator

Fresno Chaffee Zoo has an exciting and rare opening for a Horticulture Curator. Under the direction of Deputy Director/Chief Operating Officer, this position oversees the daily plant collection and grounds operation of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo to meet the needs of animal exhibits, display gardens, plant conservation priorities, and the overall landscapes. Responsibilities include developing, formalizing, and curating the zoo’s plant collection, planning, supervising and directing all work associated with projects and activities using proper horticulture methods while considering conservation related initiatives. This position requires collaboration with Zoo staff, contractors and the public to advance the Zoo’s mission; inspires wonder of our natural world, provides an engaging learning environment, and creates a passion for conservation.

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo inspires wonder of our natural world, provides an engaging learning environment, and creates a passion for conservation. Serving the central San Joaquin Valley, the zoo is committed to sustaining professional active participation in wildlife conservation, research and wildlife education. As a proud recipient of the AZA Top Honor Exhibit Award, we are committed to providing our local community and the AZA community exhibits and programs we all can be proud of.

Essential Functions:
• Regular inspections of live plants for damage or disease and general health, taking appropriate measures for improved health
• Establish and maintain a plant and garden collection plan including regular record keeping to meet and exceed Botanical Garden status.
• Provides direct supervision to horticulture workforce which includes training, instructing, assigning, reviewing work, planning, maintaining standards, coordinating activities, allocating personnel, selecting new employees, acting on employee problems, recommending and implementing disciplinary actions, coaching, evaluating employees, defining goals, and recommend pay increases.
• Plans for the design, installation, cultivation, and maintenance of turf areas, exhibits, landscapes, annual and perennial gardens, tropical plants, water features and gardens.
• Directs all aspects of plant maintenance including: watering, fertilizing, pruning, transplanting, and propagation.
• Directs the production of annuals, perennials and foliage plants in greenhouses and oversees the maintenance of the greenhouse.
• Directs the preparation and process of departmental records, reports, horticulture requests, daily logs, pesticide application charts, and watering charts.
• Prepares, writes and processes request for proposal purchasing, negotiates and prepares bids for items which includes but not limited to: services, various equipment purchases and plant materials. Receives, reviews, prepares, and/or submits various reports and records.
• Prepares, processes and tracks yearly horticulture budget.
• Oversees and directs composting operation to EPA requirements and management of yard waste transportation.
• Oversees and directs IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
• Oversees and directs the propagation of plants required for the zoo’s internal browse programs.
• Oversees and directs invasive plant control.
• Oversees and directs manual and automatic irrigation systems.
• Manages payroll for direct reports and oversees the implementation of wage and hour regulations.
• Manages the schedules for all direct reports and oversees the implementation of appropriate

Additional Job Functions:
• Plans and provides support for various departments such as Animal Care, Events (weddings, special
events), Zoo Boo, and ZooLights.
• Conducts Zoo tours and presents programs.
• Participating in University/Educational volunteer programs and various professional related

Management Responsibilities
• Customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgement.
• Leads through connecting individual and team skills and passions with organizational needs.
• Effectively solves problems and learns from mistakes.
• Employs teamwork, when appropriate, to find solutions.
• Reports to meetings and activities on time, engaged, and prepared.
• Prioritizes tasks in order to be respectful of others’ time.
• Respond to emails and other communications within 2 business days.
• All written communication contains professional and proper language
• Demonstrates follow through.
• Accountable for team leadership and management.
• Actively creates connections that encourage open and honest communication with all.
• Provides regular performance feedback and coaching to reporting staff.
• Completes timely and appropriate written evaluations that highlight strengths and areas for

Experience Required
Qualifications/Basic Job Requirements
• Bachelor’s degree or higher in Botany, Horticulture, Landscaping, Biology or other applicable field preferred.
• Minimum five years’ professional experience in the field of Horticulture, Landscaping or Zoological
Horticulture. Minimum two years’ supervisory experience preferred.
• Strong verbal and written English skills and the ability to communicate and work effectively with varied stakeholders. Bilingual skills a plus.
• Solid computer skills, including proficiency working with databases and Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Word, Excel, Outlook and Power Point required.
Strong planning, analytical and decision making skills are required, with the ability to work in a dynamic, evolving organization.
• Demonstrated motivational and problem solving acumen with a high degree of integrity and ethics.
• Possesses the ability to articulate and inspire support for a vision of the future.
• Valid California driver’s license.

Physical Requirements
These are physical and mental requirements of the position as it is typically performed. Inability to meet one or more of these physical or mental requirements will not automatically disqualify a candidate or employee from the position.
Upon request for a reasonable accommodation, the Zoo may be able to adjust or excuse one or more of these requirements, depending on the requirement, the essential functions to which it relates, and the proposed accommodation.
• This position involves walking and standing for long periods. The employee may be required to bend, stoop or kneel.
• Close visual acuity to perform an activity such as preparing and analyzing data and figures, viewing a
computer terminal, and extensive reading. Color perception is also required.
• Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication (in person and via telephone), at normal speaking levels with or without correction.
• Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word. The employee must convey detailed or
important spoken information to others in small and large group settings.
• The employee is regularly required to lift and/or carry up to 25 pounds, and occasionally up to 50 pounds.

Work Environment
• This position regularly works with others including Zoo executives and employees, Zoo guests and
community members, media and government officials.
• This position functions both indoors and outdoors, with exposure to heat, cold, inclement weather, Zoo
environments and external events.
• The employee may be exposed environmental substances such as dust/dirt from zoo grounds.
• Regular local travel and occasional out-of-town travel required.

How to Apply
Interested Applicants should apply through our website: