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Curator, Woody Plants

Requisition Number: 
Job Status: 
Responsible for the acquisition, development, use, research, and interpretation of an internationally renowned collection of woody plants that will establish the standard for excellence.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following:

  • Implement and keep current the long-term management plan for the woody plant collection and follow the five-year Plant Collections Plan.
  • Build the woody plant collection through acquisition from commercial sources, other institutions, and plant-collecting trips (both domestic and international), and work with the Development Department to bring in funding for the collection. Develop variety, depth, and expertise in Plant Collections Network (PCN) collections.
  • Work with other departments to provide the Garden's public and professional audiences with a broad understanding of the Garden's collections through tours, lectures, symposia, publications, interpretation, television/radio, exhibits, social media, and special events.
  • Share collection information broadly with professionals, academic institutions, government agencies, and others to enhance the Garden's capacity to share knowledge and further the use and understanding of plants.
  • Manage curatorial activities of the woody plant collection, ensuring focused growth, accurate documentation, verification, and annual status reports.
  • Ensure that the Chicago Botanic Garden is in compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to its living collections and its collecting activities, including importation and exporation of plants.
  • Provide technical assistance and information to the horticultural staff to maintain the highest collections standards throughout the Garden.
  • Review plant selections and construction drawings, and select, organize, and tag plants for new garden developments.
  • Collaborate with other staff to increase public access to and understanding of the collections, both physically and virtually.
  • Work with the Science and Academic Affairs Department to ensure the broadest utilization of the collections for the furtherance of science and education as it relates to the mission of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Conduct collections-based research.
  • Perform managerial duties of setting goals, budget development, prioritizing work, training, counseling, and evaluating performance.
  • Maximize the efficient use of volunteers and interns in curating the collection.
  • Create designed areas that include woody plants and work with horticulturists to create well designed areas that incorporate woody plants.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Bachelor's degree in horticulture and/or related field.
  • Five years of managerial experience and strong organizational skills.
  • Must have excellent verbal and written skills and a thorough understanding of woody plants and collections management.
Physical Demands: 
Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items less than 30 pounds. Must be able to work outside in varied weather conditions. Must be willing to participate in both domestic and foreign plant expeditions that often involve rigorous hiking, camping, and possible rugged conditions.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.