Chief Nursery Specialist

City & County of San Francisco

San Francisco,  California

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)
Our mission is to provide customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that is inclusive of environmental and community interests, and sustains the resources entrusted in our care. We are comprised of three essential 24/7 service utilities: Water, Wastewater, and Power. We provide retail drinking water and wastewater services to San Francisco, wholesale water to three Bay Area counties, and green hydroelectric and solar power to San Francisco’s City facilities and properties. Headquartered in San Francisco, we have about 2,300 employees working in seven counties with a combined annual operating budget of over $900 million. 

There is currently one (1) Chief Nursery Specialist position available in the Natural Resources and Land Management Division of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. This position is located in Sunol, CA. 

Under general direction, supervises the operation of a nursery, which contains approximately one acre of container stock and greenhouse production. 

Supervises and participates in the performance of a wide variety of plant propagation activities involving the control of environment factors in a nursery or greenhouse; and performs related duties as required to provide plants for the Alameda Creek Watershed Center and other SFPUC projects.


• Supervises the activities of seasonal crews, interns, and volunteers engaged in propagation and cultivation of California native plants for horticultural displays, landscaping, and/or habitat restoration. 
• Determines the species and quantities of plants to be propagated and cultivated; makes and sets cuttings; sows seed; transplants seedlings or rooted cuttings to pots or flats; gathers seed; pots and repots plants; and makes necessary adjustments regarding ventilation, temperature humidity and other environmental factors important to the propagation and cultivation of California native plants.
• Sterilizes and mixes soils to be used in plant propagation activities; applies fertilizers to crops when needed.
• Prepares and submits budget requests for supplies and equipment; inspects buildings, greenhouses, irrigation, and other property for damage; requests and directs repair work; takes inventory of stock; maintains accurate and detailed records of plant propagation activities.
• Performs maintenance and landscaping renovation tasks to care for the Alameda Creek Watershed Center native plant garden and associated landscaping. Plans, installs, and maintains plants by planting, transplanting, cultivating, irrigating and pruning to promote plant growth and to prevent plant deterioration.
• Implements an integrated pest management program (IPM) and best management practices for clean production in a greenhouse and nursery setting to effectively manage pest and pathogen populations and reduce pesticide usage.
• Conducts tours for the general public, amateur and professional organizations, and elementary, secondary schools and college programs; provides training for youth groups and gardening service training programs; responds to questions of the public and staff members concerning plant care and propagation; and coordinates gardening activities with special needs programs and other horticultural groups. 
• Other related duties as assigned.


These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification.  Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.


Four (4) years of professional experience in the propagation and culture of plants in a commercial or municipal nursery, greenhouse or conservatory environment. 

License and Certification:

Possession of valid Driver’s License; AND

Candidates who become eligible for appointment will be required to obtain a Qualified Applicator’s Certificate (QAC) or a Qualified Applicator’s License (QAL) from the State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Incumbents who fail to obtain this certificate or license within a six (6) month time period from the date of appointment will be separated from employment. 


Possession of an Associate’s Degree in Horticulture, Agronomy or a related field may be substituted for one (1) year of the required experience. 
Possession of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with major course of study in Horticulture, Agronomy or a related field may be substituted for up to two (2) years of the required experience.

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