Image of a street sweeper in fall cleaning up yellow leaves spread over green grass and paved areas.

Job Opening: Grounds Supervisor

Apply by December 31, 2022

Oversee the maintenance of gorgeous, sustainable landscapes across the UC Davis campus. Apply to be a Grounds Supervisor, 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 Dec. 31

EXPLORE UC Davis' Competitive HEALTH and RETIREMENT Benefits

Full Position Description

Job summary

Under general supervision by the Grounds Superintendent, directs and administers the design implementation, maintenance, installation and inspection of Grounds operations for assigned areas. Responsible for insuring assigned work and scheduled functions are carried out and completed on time. Ensure staff assignments are clear and teams have necessary tools/supplies to complete their assignments. Act as first point of contact for campus customers. Responsible for personnel functions such as safety, training, diversity, corrective action and performance management. Creates and maintains a positive and respectful working environment. This position plays a key role in the expansion of sustainable landscapes across the campus as part of the Living Landscape Adaptation Plan and works closely with Arboretum and Public Garden (APG) colleagues to ensure the use of appropriate techniques for non-traditional landscapes. This position will be Tuesday through Saturday. 

Essential Responsibilities

80% Operations Management

  • Working closely with your immediate supervisor to manage general funded, Direct Charge Agreement (DCA) and/or country landscapes by coordinating staff and ensuring grounds related services are performed as assigned.
  • Supervising other crews when needed and regular supervisor is unavailable.
  • Make scheduled and unscheduled inspections of assigned areas to ensure staff/teams are completing work and appropriate standards are maintained.
  • Create checklists and train staff on landscape tasks assigned and coordinate regular weekly areas staff work in to ensure all areas get equal needed attention.
  • Prioritize, assign, and monitor client work requests to ensure efficient completion, on time and within budget.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate routine operational activities which include:
    • regular maintenance (such as mulching, pruning, planting, tree raising, trash pick-up)
    • construction projects
    • pest and weed control, using chemical and non-chemical methods (pesticide application, mulching, seed bank depletion)
  • Select pesticides most appropriate to the time of year and type of pest.
  • Develop schedules for mowing, edging, weeding, cultivations, pruning and tree trimming.
  • Manage assigned equipment maintenance programs including heavy equipment such as tractors and mowers and small equipment such as blowers, chainsaws, line trimmers and field painters.
  • Maintenance includes scheduled preventive care as well as repairs.
  • Ensure staff/teams have the appropriate equipment, tools, and supplies necessary to efficiently perform duties.
  • Provide cost estimates for both labor and material on client requested work.
  • Perform pruning on a variety of shrubs, trees and ground covers operating a variety of lifts and power tools.
  • Participate in the planning, installation, and planting of new areas.
  • Perform preparation, transportation, planting and irrigation maintenance for establishment period of plants.
  • Complete annual and bi-annual workload projects, collecting data and insuring performance standards.
  • Act as a backup for Groundskeepers, Groundskeeper Gardeners, Equipment Operator and Irrigation technicians.
  • Ability to work with program and facility staff for special needs, access, and schedules.
  • Use strong customer service and relationship building with campus clients to ensure good communication.

20% Personnel Management

  • Manage staff resources to maintain consistent quality, reliability, and productivity.
  • Establish clear performance standards and expectations.
  • Set personal development goals with each employee and provide training opportunities where appropriate.
  • Assess strengths and weaknesses and identify development needs, giving timely and specific feedback. Monitor and evaluate employee performance against established goals and objectives.
  • Motivate employees to continuously improve.
  • Reward staff when they have done well and hold staff accountable when they do not perform as expected.
  • Approve work schedules and ensure record keeping and time accounting is accurate.
  • Develop a cooperative teamwork philosophy and establish and maintain strong client-focused teams.
  • Perform safety and landscape maintenance training for employees.
  • Evaluate employee performance and provide appropriate corrective action up to and including dismissal.
  • May be required to coordinate/direct work with student and volunteer teams.

Mental Demands

  • Constant detailed work, multiple concurrent tasks, and analytical and problem solving
  • Frequent verbal and written communication

Physical Demands

  • Occasional climbing, crawling, kneeling, pushing, reaching, and twisting
  • Frequent squatting, stooping, bending, standing, walking, talking and hearing
  • Lifting Requirements: Occasionally lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Occasionally exposed to: chemicals, dirt, hazards, and heat/cold
  • Maneuver a loaded wheelbarrow weighing up to 50 lbs.
  • Climb 12 ft. ladders.
  • Operate heavy and small equipment for long periods of time
  • Work performed outdoors, year-round, in extreme weather conditions in an institutional setting.

Work Environment

  • Valid California driver’s license required.
  • Participate in the Department of Motor Vehicles Pull Notice System.
  • Possession of a valid California Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) within (6) months of employment.
  • Subject to completion of a pre-placement medical exam provided by Occupational Health Services.
  • Work performed outdoors, year-round in extreme weather conditions in an institutional setting.
  • Work irregular shifts, including weekends, holidays, and evenings.
  • Employee is personally responsible for following health and safety guidelines/instructions.

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

  • At least 3 years demonstrated supervisory experience in horticulture, arboriculture, and landscape design and maintenance.
  • Experience and knowledge of irrigation systems, design, and functions.
  • Knowledge of landscape construction techniques, design and implementation.
  • Experience with computers, including database, word and electronic mail programs and timekeeping systems.
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge in all aspects of landscape management in an institutional/commercial environment.
  • Customer Service and communication skills to provide courteous service in person and on the telephone; to convey a professional and businesslike image to a diverse student, staff and general public population; and to remain calm and professional when dealing with difficult, disgruntled, defensive people in person, on the phone and via email.
  • Skill to understand construction drawings.
  • Experience supervising personnel including recruitment, work assignment, setting expectations and evaluating performance.
  • Knowledge of chemical weed control, insect control, and disease control.
  • Decision making and reasoning skills and ability to develop original ideas to solve problems, perform operations analysis and quality control analysis.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Possession of a valid California Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC).
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge in all aspects of landscape management best practices.
  • Degree in horticulture or a related field.
  • Demonstrated accountability for resource management and implementation.
  • Excellent organizational and leadership skills to insure adequate staffing and project scheduling to achieve timely progress on multiple projects and meet deadlines and maintain a high level of productivity.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, oral and written communication skills.

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
  • 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 Dec. 31

EXPLORE UC Davis' Competitive HEALTH and RETIREMENT Benefits

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