U.S. Federal Government

Washington , District of Columbia

Smithsonian Facilities provides unparalleled stewardship of Smithsonian buildings, gardens, and facilities – operating, maintaining, and ensuring a safe, secure, healthy environment that enhances the Smithsonian experience for all. As the largest and most diverse organization within the Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Facilities’ employees are located throughout the 19 world-class museums, galleries, gardens, research and cultural centers, as well as the National Zoological Park. Our team is comprised of professionals from every facet of facilities management, performing the majority of projects and requirements with our own workforce. Responsible for the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and safety of the Smithsonian’s world-wide facilities, we accomplish our mission and vision through four Strategic Goals:

  • Partnering with the Smithsonian Community
  • Caring for Distinctive Buildings and Grounds
  • Providing Exceptional Experiences for Internal and External Customers
  • Cultivating a Highly Motivated and Dedicated Workforce

This position is located in the Greenhouse Nursery Operations (GNO), Smithsonian Gardens (SG), Smithsonian Facilities (SF), Smithsonian Institution (SI). The employee is responsible for leading the design, cultural care, maintenance, and interpretation of plant material within the Greenhouses and interiorscapes located on Smithsonian grounds in the Washington, DC metro area.


  • Develops, implements, and leads a sound horticulture program for the Smithsonian Gardens Greenhouses in area of responsibility. Assures that proper pruning, watering, weeding, planting, fertilization, pest control and equipment operations are carried out.
  • Assumes responsibility for maintenance of a specific section of the Greenhouse Nursery Operations growing facility and takes necessary action to ensure upkeep of area of responsibility.
  • Initiates, develops, evaluates and is responsible for an Integrated Pest Management program (IPM) in area of responsibility. Collects and submits soil, tissue and water samples, and prepares and dispenses a variety of chemicals. Applies pesticides and coordinates application activity.
  • Leads a team of horticulturist and gardeners to coordinate production and/or installation and maintenance of seasonal plantings, educational exhibits and displays. Provides leadership to gardeners, volunteers, and interns while assigning tasks and reviews results.
  • Maintains a written record of sections cultural activities. Records include all aspects of each project of section, i.e. current inventories of plant material, records on plant replacements and cultural care records on watering schedule, date, and types of pesticides applied.
  • Records horticultural exhibit or events held in area of responsibility.

You must meet these Basic Education Requirements:

Degree: horticulture; or a related discipline of basic plant science that included at least 30 semester hours in the basic plant sciences, of which at least 16 semester hours were in horticultural subjects such as those dealing with the breeding, care, management, production, and post harvest handling of horticultural crops.
Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in horticulture or a related discipline of basic plant science that included course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Evaluation of Education: Courses in botany, plant physiology, plant taxonomy, plant pathology, genetics, agronomy, horticulture, and similar courses may be used to meet the 30-semester-hour requirement in basic plant sciences.

The 16-semester-hour requirement in horticulture includes course work in basic horticulture and course work related to any of the recognized subject-matter fields of horticulture, i.e., fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, nursery work, seed production, or course work in related areas of science, such as micro-biology, entomology, plant pathology, plant physiology, or genetics that is directly related to horticultural work.

In addition to the Basic Requirements above you must have the following:

Experience: You qualify for this position if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-7 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position Specialized experience is defined as experience in the field of horticulture, plant identification and horticultural care of tropical foliage plants in a Conservatory, Interiorscape or Greenhouse.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

Or Education:

2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree


Master's or equivalent graduate degree

Completion of graduate level education in the amounts shown, in addition to meeting the basic requirements, is qualifying for positions at grades GS-7 through GS-11, and GS-12 research positions if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that number cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered an academic year of graduate study. Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.

Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications. For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.