Forester – Harris County

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Supervisor: Arborist
Department: Parks Department
Location: Mercer Botanic Gardens
22306 Aldine Westfield Rd
Humble, TX 77338
Prepared By: Laura Carlton, Arborist
Date: 11/08/18

Operates and maintains heavy equipment necessary for tree care and other vegetation management. Monitors and cares for propagations at various park locations from nursery greenhouses to trails. This includes primarily planting nut, fruit and historical Texas trees for use on park property or programs. Part of growing these collections will entail driving long distances with overnight stays to gather seed. This position requires a self-motivated individual with a “can do attitude,” willing to work mostly outdoors in all weather conditions, not afraid to get their hands dirty, and capable of conducting a variety of tasks during a normal day. Must manage and coordinate daily work assignments in conjunction with supervisor. Employee may lead volunteers working on a project. Polite communication skills and willingness to interact with the public are essential traits.
• Ensures work equipment is safely operated and services maintenance needs with proper care. Assures good operating conditions exist at all times and equipment is prepared for each day.

• Work equipment includes utility vehicles, excavator, chipper, dump truck, chainsaw, chains, sharpeners, tiller, and weed trimmers.

• Tree and other vegetation maintenance includes planting, pruning, staking, fertilizing, removal, and inventory.

• Propagates and cares for trees, plants, and other crops in the nursery/greenhouse and trail areas. Particularly edible natives and historically significant specimen.

• Must be able to drive long distances with overnight stays to collect historical Texas tree seeds following proper procedures.

• Maintains nursery and greenhouse areas. Monitors and services irrigation needs, organizes materials in tool sheds, repairs and builds structures. Checks and secures gated areas.

• Help execute special events and festivals held throughout the year as needed. May present or host various natural/living history programs.

• Work directly with, and at times oversee crews, interns, and a variety of volunteers in assigned duties, projects, and programs.

• Work varying shifts including weekends and evenings.

• Reports and alerts any hazards and incidents at all times. Enforces park rules and regulations.

• Completes monthly reports.

• Arrives to work on time. Corresponds with supervisor within thirty minutes to an hour upon contact.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to carry out each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

A four-year B.S. degree in forestry, forest management or related curriculum; or a B.S. degree in science, nature or history related curriculum and a minimum of one year of forestry experience; or a combination of a two-year associates degree and a minimum of two years related experience; or four years minimum experience in a similar position or field of work.
• General knowledge of outdoor activities and skills
• General knowledge of Texas history
• Good knowledge of local natural history, flora, and fauna
• Intermediate computer skills with Microsoft Office Suite: Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point and GIS Mapping
• Nature interpretation experience
• Operation of a variety of forestry and landscape equipment
• Patient and experienced working with children and the public

Ability to read and interpret documents such as science-related articles, and procedure manuals, operating and maintenance instructions; write routine reports; correspondence and informational articles for publication; maintain records; speak effectively before public groups of visitors, both formally and informally.

• Ability to work on multiple tasks concurrently
• Ability to work with others and team oriented
• Analyze, generate, research and refine programs
• First aid training a plus
• Flexible personality, open to new ideas, and suggestions
• Good observation skills
• Initiative and perseverance to complete projects
• Organizational skills
• Team leadership abilities

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, walk, use hands and fingers to handle, feel and reach with hands and arms; frequently required to sit, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear and taste or smell; regularly lift and/or move up to 40 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 60 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is periodically exposed to wet and/or humid conditions; moving mechanical parts; high places; fumes or airborne particles; outside weather conditions; extreme cold; extreme heat; vibration; night-time shifts; and routine use of a computer monitor. The noise level in the work environment is normally moderate.

Harris County Precinct 4 strives to maintain a drug and alcohol free environment in the workplace. All new employees are required to pass a drug and alcohol-screening test and may be subject to random testing as a condition of continued employment.
Requires a post-offer criminal history background check.
Must possess and maintain a valid Texas driver’s license and have an acceptable driving record.

A Pesticide Applicator’s License (in Lawn & Ornamental and Weed control) as issued through the Texas Structural Pest Control Board is required to perform this job; continued employment is contingent upon obtaining referenced licenses.

HOURS: 40 Hours per Week / Flexible
Schedule includes one to two weekends per month

SALARY: Commensurate with experience
Based on 26 pay periods