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Horticulturist II 



The Desert Museum is seeking a motivated, creative, and passionate Horticulturist to join our talented team in the Botany Department!


Position Description
Job Title: Horticulturist II
Department: Botany
Reports To: Curator of Botany
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Compensation: Full-time position. Initial Step is $16.25 per hour plus a comprehensive benefit package which includes medical, dental, vision, employer-funded health reimbursement account, life and LTD insurance, medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, 403(b) retirement plan with Roth option, complimentary membership and guest passes, paid holidays, personal business time, sick leave, and vacation. Position is covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

A Horticulturist cares for plants, landscapes, and gardens at ASDM and provides botanical interpretation to visitors and the public.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
This position is responsible for installation, care and maintenance of plants and landscape features within exhibits and throughout the Museum grounds. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Shrub and tree installation. Shrub and tree pruning. Hazardous tree and cactus removal.
  • Site design and layout of new gardens. Mitigation and restoration of existing gardens.
  • Design, install, and troubleshoot irrigation systems.
  • Use and maintain hand and power tools.
  • Working aloft, using ladders, harnesses, and hydraulic lifts.
  • Oversee volunteers.
  • Keeping accurate accession records of the botanical collection within assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Interpretation of botanical and horticultural subjects to the general public.
  • May participate in tours and traditional/social media requests.
  • Involved in the preparation of special botanical events (Plant sales, Gala, Cool Summer Nights, special projects among others).
  • Apply pesticides as needed, guided by Integrated Pest Management concepts.
  • Opportunity to attend ASDM and public meetings, be involved in teaching and writing, and may be assigned propagation duties.
  • Opportunity to participate in field trips and off-ground work.

Supervisory Responsibilities
This job has no supervisory responsibilities.


Please note: Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. If offered a position, you will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment drug screen and provide the equivalent of a satisfactory 3-year Drivers History Record as a final condition of employment.

Position Requirements

Education and/or Experience
Bachelor's degree from four-year college or university; or one to two years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Language Skills
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.  Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

Mathematical Skills
Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume.  Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry

Reasoning Ability
Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.  Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.

Technical Skills
To perform this job successfully, an individual should have basic computer software knowledge to include word processing, data base, and spreadsheet applications.  Knowledge of or ability to learn Rain Bird Maxicom Central Control System highly desirable. Geographic Information Systems knowledge is desirable. New staff is trained by senior staff to enter data into a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database using tablet applications; cloud based mapping systems and desktop GIS applications. The position also reviews existing or incoming data for currency, accuracy, usefulness, quality, or completeness of documentation.

Other Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of plant taxonomy and Sonoran desert region flora desirable
  • Weekend and holiday work may be required.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations

  • Valid Arizona Driver’s License or ability to obtain
  • Satisfactory 39-month AZ DMV report or out-of-state equivalent

Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to stand; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee is frequently required to walk and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee is occasionally required to sit; climb or balance; talk or hear and taste or smell. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move more than 100 pounds with the assistance of equipment. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly exposed to all aspects of outside weather conditions. The employee is occasionally exposed to wet and/or humid conditions; moving mechanical parts; high, precarious places; fumes or airborne particles; toxic or caustic chemicals; extreme heat; risk of electrical shock and vibration. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Additionally, the employee is regularly exposed to plants that are armed with spines, thorns, and urticating hairs. Some of these plants may contain chemical compounds that may irritate skin and/or cause allergic reactions. The employee may also be exposed to stinging and biting insects, venomous reptiles, small mammals, and working in close proximity to housed mammals and reptiles.

The above description reflects a general overview of the responsibilities, reporting relationships and position requirements for this job classification. It is not intended to be a complete description of all duties and requirements that may be inherent in the position.


IDEA Commitment
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is committed to fostering a welcoming space and a diverse, inclusive team that reflects the communities in which we live and work. We understand that inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) are integral to the fulfillment of our mission, and to our success as an organization. We are working to build the structures, policies, hiring practices and organizational culture that ensure representation and opportunity for all, and create an environment of belonging where everyone feels respected, safe, and understood. As we continue to engage in this work, we are integrating the core values of IDEA into our programs, exhibits, communications, and other public offerings. Valuing each other’s differences brings us together to create a thriving workplace and fair work culture, allowing us to fulfill our mission more effectively.

We believe inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. Ways in which our commitment is demonstrated include continuous development, modeling inclusive behaviors, and proactively addressing bias. Visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’s IDEA page to learn more.

The Museum’s IDEA Coalition consists of staff members who are driving our efforts to build a culture where people feel they belong and have a voice.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to the conservation and research of the Sonoran Desert region with the goal of making the Sonoran Desert accessible, understandable and valued. We are a fusion experience zoo, botanical garden, aquarium, art gallery, natural history museum, and research institute. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums has recognized the Desert Museum for over 25 years of continuous accreditation.

The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.

EOE Statement We are an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. For this position, we are seeking candidates who are U.S. citizens or permanent green card holders. We believe that inclusive teams with diverse perspectives are essential to our success and encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply, within the remit of the eligibility criteria.  
Open Date 9/18/2023  

This position is currently accepting applications.

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