Agricultural Operations Specialist 2 (Assistant Greenhouse Manager)

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
Job Number:
Level/Salary Band:
02 – G – Non-exempt
Work Unit:
College of Agricultural Sciences
Plant Science
Full/Part Time:


The College of Agricultural Sciences Greenhouse Operations seeks a full time assistant to support teaching and research activities in the greenhouses and associated headhouse facilities under the direction of the Greenhouse Manager. Job responsibilities include: Working with the greenhouse manager to maintain greenhouse and growth chamber environments for plant growth; programming climate control computers; monitoring greenhouse and growth chamber mechanical system function; identifying problems; and coordinating repairs with the Office of the Physical Plant; coordinating greenhouse laboratory exercises with course instructors and producing crops required for laboratory exercises; providing oversight and care for student grown crops; assisting with greenhouse teaching exercises by providing laboratory materials, working with students to construct and maintain hydroponics plant growth systems and experimental apparatus, providing oversight for student preparation of plant nutrient solutions, providing horticultural advice and demonstrating proper horticultural techniques to students, maintaining teaching hydroponics and aquaponics plant growth systems; coordinating with researchers to provide appropriate greenhouse and growth chamber environments for experimentation; supervising use of greenhouse and growth chamber space by researchers and maintaining space leasing records; working with researchers to design and construct experimental plant growth systems; providing horticultural supplies to researchers and instructors, maintaining supply inventories and accounting records; coordinating use of plant tissue drying oven facilities, root washing facilities, sample processing facilities, balances, pH/EC meters and other analytical equipment with researchers, students and instructors; carrying out greenhouse integrated pest management activities; working with instructors and researchers to implement appropriate plant pest management practices; scouting crops for pest organisms, deploying biological pest control agents, and selecting and applying appropriate pesticides safely in accordance with University, State and Federal regulations; maintaining pesticide application records and compliance with the EPA Worker Protection Standard; coordinating use of plant tissue grinding, soil grinding and workshop facilities; providing University mandated tool use and safety training to facility users and maintaining training records; supervising use of grinding and workshop facilities by students and researchers; providing assistance and advice to students and researchers constructing experimental apparatus or processing plant or soil samples; maintaining plant and soil grinding equipment, tools, and particulate vacuum ventilation system; supervising part time employees; coordinating hiring and activities of part time employees and scheduling work periods; providing training and instruction to part time employees and monitoring progress and completion of work tasks; and approving time worked. Typically requires an Associate's degree or higher plus two years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Preference will be given to candidates with experience working in an academic research setting. A working knowledge of greenhouse horticultural techniques, plant physiology and nutrition, hydroponic plant production, greenhouse integrated pest management and biological pest control is required for this position. The candidate should have experience managing greenhouse mechanical and control systems and preference will be given to candidates with experience operating Wadsworth climate control systems. Horticultural skills, a mechanical inclination, and organizational skills are required for this position. Excellent communication skills with the ability to speak with confidence and congeniality and the ability to work as part of a team in a diverse environment are required for this position. The candidate should be capable of lifting 50 lbs. with or without assistance and competent to climb ladders and carry out physically demanding tasks in hot and humid working environments for sustained periods. The candidate should have experience operating a Bobcat front end loader and should be competent to drive and maneuver a loaded trailer on the University campus in tight spaces. Flexible work hours may be required, and candidates must be willing to share on-call duties with the greenhouse manager. On rare occasions, responding to greenhouse emergencies outside of normal work hours may be necessary. The candidate must acquire a PA Pesticide Applicators license within 3 months of hire. This position requires that you operate a motor vehicle as a part of your job duties. A valid driver’s license and successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to standard background checks. Please upload a resume, cover letter and contact information for 3 professional references. Applications will be reviewed immediately and will be accepted until April 12, 2019. This is a fixed term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088