• Help



    This position is located in the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), Capitol Grounds and Arboretum (CGA), Gardening Division. The AOC is accepting applications for a Plant Specialist to serve as a Plant Health Care (PHC) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist and provide leadership for the pest, disease and nutrient management programs with special emphasis on providing innovative approaches to managing the health of the living assets of the Capitol campus.

    Learn more about this agency


    The Plant Specialist will utilize biocontrol, integrated pest management and other advanced scientific plant health strategies and will be the lead CGA specialist collaborating with other specialist to safeguard the health of turf, trees and shrubs throughout the Capitol campus. Will also lead work performed by fulltime, seasonal and contract staff, and coordinate work activities with special events.  Duties quoted at GS-12 level.

    Major Duties:

    • Plans, coordinates and conducts pest, nutrient and disease management. Develops overall strategies and provides expert guidance to gardeners, horticulturists and arborists. Develops novel management programs and evaluates efficacy.
    • Manages the overall plant health program and prepares reports informing staff of practices and challenges. Leads biocontrol programs with an emphasis on sustainability and visitor and employee safety. Maintains thorough records of methods used and their efficacy.
    • Serves as principal pesticide, herbicide, fungicide and other plant health related chemicals expert for CGA. Responsible for implementing, planning, organizing and maintaining a CGA pesticide license recertification program. Serves as coordinator and expert CGA consultant for all pesticide applications. Mixes, applies and disposes of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other related products. Applies chemicals in a manner to effectively control pests without creating a hazard to other workers and to visitors.
    • Ensures compliance with all safety regulations pertaining to the safe handling and use of pesticides. Follows directions on manufacturers’ labels. Maintains accurate records of pesticide usage. Maintains records of pesticide labels, Safety Data Sheets and other technical information for pesticides following Federal and District of Columbia regulations. Maintains the inventory of pesticides in storage.
    • Prepares safety reports as required by controlling regulations and AOC policy. Serves as primary technical contact regarding programmatic and enforcement aspects for the pesticide program under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
    • Serves as principal liaison with plant health care researchers and specialist at United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Sentinel Plant Network and other national programs.
    • Designs sustainable and integrated plant health programs that meet the complex needs of CGA staffing, visitors, plant species (including culturally significant landscapes and memorial trees), environmental concerns and safety concerns.
    • Manages plant health risk as appropriate to a nationally significant arboretum with irreplaceable living specimens of outstanding horticultural or historical value. Liaise with AOC outreach staff to demonstrate sustainable plant health techniques to the public.
    • Ascertains the proper timing and degree of watering, pruning, feeding and insect and plant disease control. Tests and recommends soil amendments to improve landscape health. Tests and recommends appropriate fertilizer applications.
    • Manages financial obligations to the IPM program through development of budget justifications, monitoring spending and tracking accountable property.
    • Develops Scopes of Work (SOW) and serves as Contracting Officers Technical Representative (COTR) for various IPM and PHC contracts. As the COTR, ensures accurate and adequate oversight of contractor performance according to contract requirements. Performs timely inspections to ensure compliance with job specifications, quality, timeliness and budget authorizations.
    • Follows all relevant safety rules, regulations and standard operating procedures. Must utilize knowledge of and must comply with all OSHA safety rules and regulations to ensure that work progresses in a safe manner.

    To apply pesticides in the District of Columbia (D.C.), the incumbent must possess a valid D.C. pesticide applicator’s license in categories (3A) exterior ornamental plants, (3B) interior plant-scapes and/or (3C) turf grass, dependent upon the pesticides used.

    Travel Required

    Not required

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/592891900. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.