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Assistant/Associate Agent, Horticulture (Pima County, Arizona)

Position Details

Position Information

Title Assistant/Associate Agent, Horticulture (Pima County, Arizona)
Department Pima County Office (1540)
Medical Sub-Speciality
Location County Extensions and Farms
Position Summary

The purpose of the continuing-eligible Horticulture Extension Assistant/Associate Agent position is to develop and deliver educational information, structured programs, and technical support to the consumer and commercial horticulture sectors, as well as urban agriculture and food systems in Pima County, Arizona.

The agent assesses community needs in the areas of desert southwest horticulture, urban agriculture, and food systems and identifies research-informed or evidence-based approaches to address the identified needs. The agent conducts applied research as a foundation for a strong research-based educational program. The agent also collaborates with peers and colleagues to develop and deliver educational programming in Pima County. The agent communicates with clientele and peers through a variety of means including print publications, peer reviewed journal articles, social media, and other technologically appropriate avenues of communication. Educational opportunities are offered through formal and non-formal classes, clinics, workshops in plant biology, pest management, soil science, water, and other relevant topics, as needed, to Master Gardener volunteers, professional green industry personnel, and urban food producers. Technical support is provided through site visits to identify problems and offer practical, science-based solutions. Oversight and guidance is provided to school and community garden programs, the Pima County Master Gardener program, and Smartscape, a landscape water conservation education program. It is the responsibility of the agent to identify and obtain external funding to support both applied research and programmatic needs. In addition, the agent is expected to present science-based information at local, state, and national meetings and conferences.

Pima County Extension has an active Master Gardener program with over 200 trained volunteers who reach over 8,000 Pima County residents each year and give approximately 23,000 hours of service throughout the year. Master Gardener volunteers maintain 35,000 square feet of demonstration gardens, which feature 14 separate themed gardens. Master Gardeners also maintain numerous outreach programs in Pima County and volunteer on many internal administrative teams. The Smartscape program trains over 2,000 landscape professionals and residential participants annually on best management practices for efficient irrigation and sustainable landscapes. Visit to learn more about CALS – Cooperative Extension or to see the diverse programs offered through the Pima County Extension Office. The UA practices and adheres to the principles of Inclusive Excellence which is the diversity and inclusiveness strategy for the institution. Candidates are expected to support the principles of I.E. and be attentive to diversity and inclusiveness in their work.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the United States and WorldatWork and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities

A. Program Development

  • Conducts a systematic analysis of national, state, and county data, local resources, and historical information in order to identify community assets, program needs, and teaching opportunities.
  • Identifies financial resources through potential gifts, grants, and contracts to support both the research and programmatic needs.
  • In cooperation with community groups, local leaders, Extension advisory groups, and other Extension professionals, develops an annual Plan of Work.
  • Consults with Extension faculty, Experiment Station researchers, and other experts in the development of educational programs, applied research, and scholarly works.

B. Program Implementation

  • Implement programs that may include an applied research effort to address problem-based issues pertaining to identified clientele needs.
  • Develop educational materials for clientele distribution to include peer reviewed articles, fact sheets, bulletins, social media networks, etc.
  • Participate and collaborate with peers and statewide working groups to discuss and develop identified programmatic resources.
  • Disseminate education materials to clientele county-wide and/or statewide as working groups identify program priorities.
  • Conduct workshops and develop media communications to reach clientele.

C. Program Results

  • Evaluate results and impacts of delivered programs.
  • Publish and communicate program results through all previously described media.

D. Professionalism

  • Maintain professional competence through study, participation in professional meetings and applied knowledge to programmatic duties and responsibilities.
  • Maintain high ethical and professional standards with commitment to Cooperative Extension and the University of Arizona.
  • Promote Cooperative Extension to enhance public understanding of the organization’s mission.

Lines of Responsibility:

This position is administratively and programmatically responsible to the County Extension Director and the Director of Arizona Cooperative Extension. These Extension Programs are developed under the guidelines and policies of Arizona Cooperative Extension, including Affirmative Action and Civil Rights. Additional responsibilities may be deemed necessary and assigned by the College and/or Extension administration.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
  • Excellent administrative and program management skills
  • Knowledge of pertinent guidelines and policies
  • Maintains professional competence through study, participation in professional activities and the application of knowledge and skills on the job.
  • Maintains high ethical and professional standards.
  • Promotes public understanding and support for Extension and University programs.
  • Performs as a collegial member of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
Minimum Qualifications

Master’s Degree in plant sciences, horticulture, or related field.

Must possess an valid driver’s license upon employment, provide own transportation, be able to travel statewide, and perform activities associated with conducting programs. Ability to drive according to the University Fleet Safety Policy.

Preferred Qualifications

Two years of applicable professional experience working in Arizona or an area with similar conditions.

Teaching and volunteer management experience, formal or informal.

Demonstrated experience managing volunteer program.

Familiarity with desert horticulture.
Familiarity with plant production systems and landscape maintenance, permaculture, xeriscape, water harvesting techniques, and other sustainable approaches.
Demonstrated ability to obtain external funding.
Excellent communication and relationship-building skills.

Rank To be determined.
Tenure Information Continuing-Eligible (CE)
FLSA Exempt
FTE 1.0
Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Number of Hours Worked per Week 40/weekends and evenings
Benefits Eligible Yes - Full Benefits
Posted Rate of Pay TBD
Job Category Faculty
Type of criminal background check required: Fingerprint criminal background check (security sensitive due to title or department)

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number F21243
Number of Vacancies One
Desired Start Date 04/01/2018
Position End Date (if temporary)
Limited to Current UA Employees No
Contact Information for Candidates

Daniel McDonald

Open Date 12/22/2017
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Review Begins On 01/19/2018
Special Instructions Summary
Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff, and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Quick Link for Internal Postings

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Where did you first learn about this position?
    • Arizona Daily Star
    • Arizona Republic
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Department of Economic Security (DES)
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
    • Jobing.Com
    • LinkedIn
    • Local Job Banks
    • Pima County One-Stop
    • Professional Conference
    • Professional journal/publication
    • Referred by UA Employee
    • Invited by Dept to Apply
    • UA Website
    • Other
  2. * Do you have a Master's degree in plant sciences, horticulture, or related field?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  4. Sample of Publications
Optional Documents