Horticulture Technician




Organization: Houston Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Houston, Texas, United States
Job or Internship: Job

HORTICULTURE TECHNICIAN I

DESCRIPTION:

The Houston Zoo aspires to be recognized by peers, staff, and general public as a leader among conservation efforts, delivering excellence in animal care, entertainment, education, and Guest service. Join an enthusiastic team that provides a fun, unique and inspirational experience fostering appreciation, knowledge, and care for the natural world.

The Houston Zoo Horticulture Department is searching for a highly motivated, dynamic and creative individual to join our group. Our new Horticulture Technician will perform duties such as installation of exciting and underutilized plants, watering, weeding, removal of invasive plants, pruning, fertilization, grading and other tasks needed for general care and maintenance of planted areas. Employees work outdoors at least 90% of the day. The team is responsible for the beautification efforts for the Houston Zoo, including a large collection of bamboo, palm trees, exotic plants, and more.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Monitors plant material to ensure plant health

• Installs plantings and vegetation in accordance with instructions provided

• Assists in gathering daily browse and enrichment for the animal collection

• Cleans and maintains Zoo plantings both inside and outside of exhibits providing a pleasing and lush horticulture environment around the Zoo

• Provides regular intensive maintenance of plant material, such as weeding, pruning, fertilizing, mulching, transplanting and winterizing.

• Responsible for landscaping and planting flower beds

• Ensures the Zoo Horticulture department meets accreditation and collection needs

• Assists in maintaining irrigation systems and provides additional water using sprinklers or hoses.

• Uses tools such as pruners, hand saws, shovels, and rakes

• Operates machinery such as a backhoe, skid steer, chipper, and chain saws

• Utilize organic herbicides for weed control

• Participate in preparation for special events, such as displays, new and future exhibits, and education programs

• Available for unscheduled or emergency call-ins

• Other duties as assigned.

Staff may be required to work weekends, holidays, some evenings, and beyond scheduled work hours. Staff may also provide crowd control if necessary during peak times.

SUPERVISION:

Horticulture Technicians may assist in supervision of volunteers and interns.

JOB REQUIREMENTS

EXPERIENCE:

Two years of experience in horticultural field such as landscape installation, grounds maintenance, nursery, greenhouse, gardening, or plant production are required.

KNOWLEDGE:

High school diploma or GED required. Advanced education desired. Specific study/training in horticulture, botany, agriculture, or landscape architecture/design is preferred.

Must have a valid Texas driver’s license and comply with policy on driving. Proficiency in common computer software, such as Microsoft Office, is needed. Bilingual skills are beneficial.

Horticulture Technicians are required to meet high standards of Zoo knowledge and Guest service.

SKILLS:

PHYSICAL EFFORT:

The position involves standing for long periods of time. It may also involve considerable physical exertion, such as extensive walking, bending, stooping and regular lifting of heavy objects (up to 100 pounds) on a highly frequent basis and/or assuming awkward positions for long periods of time.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

This position requires employees to work outdoors at least 90% of the day. There are routine exposures to significant levels of heat, cold, moisture and air pollution. The position may involve periodic exposure to chemical substances and physical trauma of a minor nature such as cuts, bruises and minor burns.

PHYSICAL SKILL:

Horticulture Technicians require excellent hand/eye co-ordination, the ability to work outdoors for long periods of time and clear speech, with good audio skills. The ability to perform heavy manual labor is necessary.

PUBLIC CONTACT:

Heavy public contact is required, involving considerable interpersonal skill, extensive interaction with guests, members, donors and the media. A high degree of appreciation of Guest service is necessary.

TO APPLY-

Please complete an online application through our website at:

www.houstonzoo.org/careers