Person kneeling, looking at the roots of a plant in the Arboretum

Apply by Sept. 12, 2023: Gardener Groundskeeper

Help the UC Davis campus looks its best all year round by performing a diverse range of tasks, from cultivating plant materials and designing specialized landscapes to supervising interns and volunteers. Apply to be a gardener groundskeeper at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, where every career employee receives extremely competitive health and retirement benefits including:

  • Three weeks vacation at start, holidays and paid sick leave
  • One of our state's best pension benefits and a retirement savings program
  • An impressive selection of medical, dental, vision and life insurance
  • Plus, much more...

LEARN MORE and APPLY by Sept. 12

EXPLORE UC Davis' Competitive HEALTH and RETIREMENT Benefits

What's Special About Working for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden?

Full Position Description

Job summary

This position performs multiple Grounds related functions in all categories of work and delegations assigned to Grounds & Landscape services. Performs all Landscape & Grounds services including planning cultivating and control of landscape, irrigation maintenance, repair and modification, equipment operations and upkeep within the campus core or country areas of the Davis Campus. The duties include, cultivating a varied selection of plant materials, specialized animal-friendly landscapes or specialized gardens, herbicide applications, landscape design, tenant improvements, equipment operations and arboriculture support. The position will also supervise and train student interns and teams of volunteer gardeners to assist with landscape stewardship and maintenance.

Physical Demands

  • Agility and strength to traverse steep banks carrying materials weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Walk, lift, stoop, bend, crawl, push and work in tight confined areas.
  • Climb ladders, climb on top on machinery and equipment.
  • Carry pack sprayer weighing up to 50lbs. on back.
  • Work outdoors year-round in summer heat, winter rain and other extreme weather conditions.

Work Environment

  • Work in areas of noise odors, vibration, dirt and dust.
  • May, at times, require the individual to work with or be in areas where hazardous materials and/or infectious diseases are present. Specific hazards include but are not limited to: cleaning materials, pesticides, fuels, solvents, infectious materials and wastes, biological hazards, and other materials labeled hazardous.

Work hours and schedule:

  • Work hours are Tuesday – Saturday 6:00am to 2:30pm or Monday – Friday 6:00am to 2:30pm. Work scheduled will be determined by needs of department.
  • May be required to work a non-standard work schedule that may include nights, weekends, or alternative schedules such as 80 hours in 8 or 9 shifts instead of 10.
  • Vacation usage by employee may be restricted during peak workload periods as required to meet the needs of the campus.

Smoke and tobacco free work environment: The University of California prohibits smoking and tobacco use at all University owned or leased properties, or facilities operated by UC staff or faculty. Smoking and tobacco use are strictly prohibited in indoor and outdoor spaces, parking lots, residential space and University vehicles.

Minimum Qualifications

Additional Minimum License/Certification         

  • Valid CA driver’s license required.
  • Participate in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Pull Notice System.
  • Possession of a valid Pesticide Applicators Certificate or ability to obtain one within 6 months of employment.

Minimum Education/Experience                             

  • Experience in Grounds maintenance or gardening. Experience in identification, cultivation, and care of a broad diversity of ornamental and native landscape plants.
  • Experience and skill to safely operate a variety of landscape tools and power equipment
  • Experience in operation and maintenance of spray equipment for weed and pest control.
  • Experience in recognizing, diagnosing and researching plant health problems, including abiotic disorders, diseases, and pests, and developing solutions to horticultural problems.
  • Experience in irrigation maintenance and minor repairs.
  • Experience working with volunteers and/or university students.

Minimum Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA)

  • Knowledge of pruning standards and best practices.
  • Knowledge of weed identification and control methods used.
  • Knowledge of pest control laws and regulations regarding safe chemical application and pesticides used. 

Preferred Qualifications

Additional Preferred License/Certification         

  • ISA certification.

Preferred Education/Experience             

  • Degree in Horticulture, Plant Science, or related field. Experience working in an institutional environment.
  • Experience operating large mowers and tractors.
  • Experience and or skill to maintain an organic garden.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA)

  • Skill in the management of volunteers and/or student interns.
  • Knowledge of landscape construction techniques including grading, path construction, retaining walls, irrigation, and basic carpentry.
  • Computer skills to utilize various programs and software for word processing, spreadsheets, website applications, and e-mail programs.

Special Requirements

  • Background Check: This position is a critical position and subject to a background check. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of background investigation including criminal history and identity checks. This position is subject to the California Department of Motor Vehicles Pull Notice System.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine: The University of California has implemented a SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination Policy ( covering all employees. To be compliant with the policy, employees must submit proof of vaccination or a University-approved exception or deferral.

LEARN MORE and APPLY by Sept. 12

EXPLORE UC Davis' Competitive HEALTH and RETIREMENT Benefits

What's Special About Working for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden?

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