Greenhouse Operations Supervisor, Plant Molecular & Cellular Biology Laboratory, Dr. Joanne Chory

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • Encinitas, CA, USA
  • Apr 29, 2021
Full time Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences

Job Description

Application Instructions:

Employment History Include your last ten (10) years of employment history, or length of your employment history if less, including all positions (even those that are not relevant to this position) and periods of unemployment. Incomplete information could disqualify you from further consideration.


 The CRoPS project aims to develop crop plants that sequester more carbon via extensive root systems containing recalcitrant carbon polymers to fight climate change. A major component of this research is to grow, test and analyze a variety of plant strains and species.

In conjunction with Research Greenhouse Supervisor, or the Greenhouse Site Manager, the Production Greenhouse Supervisor will play a lead role in the daily operations of the Encinitas Research Facility.  Together with the Research Greenhouse Supervisor, will determine optimal growing conditions for approx. 10 crop species.  The Production Greenhouse Supervisor will monitor the internal conditions within the Greenhouse and adjusts/fixes the LED lights, fertilization system or climate controls as necessary.  Together with Research Greenhouse Supervisor, the Production Greenhouse Supervisor maintains environmental standards for agricultural and horticultural production.  The Production Greenhouse Supervisor along with the Research Greenhouse Supervisor, is responsible for growing new plants from seeds and tending to the ones that are already there through watering, fertilizing, and protecting them from pests. This role also helps to monitor and regulate the internal conditions within the greenhouse to ensure the plants have the best environment for growing and works with teams of researchers to carry out data collection, data input, and preliminary statistical analysis, and helps provide expertise in experimental design. This role researches, develops, and proposes, with the consultation of the PI or Greenhouse Site Manager, to implement best practices for successfully growing the various plant strains and species that are relevant to the CRoPS project, and supervises support staff such as Research Assistants and Technicians.


(60%) Supervision of Greenhouse Production Operations

Plant growth management

  • Supervise growth and care of a variety of crop and plant species
  • Researches best practices to grow plant species of relevance in greenhouse conditions
  • Fixes/manages Fertilization system, climate control and LED lighting
  • Develops protocols as appropriate

Monitoring and execution of greenhouse planting

  • Coordinate with Research Greenhouse Supervisor for appropriate care of experimental crops
  • Provides advice to Research Greenhouse Supervisor regarding execution of experiments as related to greenhouse conditions
  • Assist in harvesting and preparing tissue from plants for further analysis

(10%) Seed Stewardship

  • Seed stock database organization and management
  • Researching available germplasm and obtain crop germplasm

(10%) Administration

  • Provides reports to PI or CRoPS Project Manager on all greenhouse-related production activities
  • Assist with other housekeeping and organizational tasks as needed
  • Interface and coordinate with staff at offsite greenhouse locations, as backup
  • Serves as key point of contact for greenhouse production matters, to include various internal departments and external parties, such as facilities resources, utilities, and media relations.

 (10%) Compliance to Safety and Environmental Standards

  • Conduct, train and complete experimental trials with upmost safety protocols and compliance to established SOPs
  • Ensure greenhouse production operations are compliant with Federal and California environmental regulations, reporting concerns to the Greenhouse Site Manager to address as needed

(10%) Supervision of Greenhouse Support Staff

  • Determines, assigns, and monitors tasks for assigned production staff
  • Oversees work product and provides guidance to staff
  • Responsible for personnel-related activities, including but not limited to recruitment and performance management



  •  Minimum of 3 years of related experience in a nursery/greenhouse, to include a minimum of 1 year of experience in a lead role
  • Experience in agricultural research or applied agriculture


  • Experience in greenhouse or field settings with some of the several crops or cover crops that are part of the Harnessing Plants Initiative



  •  BS/BA degree in an agricultural, chemical or biological field, or equivalent.
  • Must have Qualified Applicator License for pesticide application or be able to acquire one within first 3 months after hire



  • Strong working knowledge of and demonstrated experience with:
    • pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, and watering and planting procedures
    • stages of plant life and pests and diseases that may occur
    • propagation of plants
    • plant care, including watering, fertilization, weeding, and pesticide application
    • greenhouse operation and maintenance
    • specified local, state and federal regulations and environmental mandates
  • Proven ability to work both independently and as part of a collaborative team
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including tact, diplomacy, and flexibility
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with both PC and MAC operating systems, standard business office equipment and commonly used software and tools, such as Microsoft Office, electronic mail, and the internet
  • Working knowledge of basic statistics
  • Highly organized, effective at multitasking, adept at juggling changing priorities and able to prioritize
  • Demonstrated leadership skills to oversee the quantity and quality of work for assigned staff, and provide effective guidance and performance management
  • Knowledge in maintenance and repair of Greenhouse equipment


  •  Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Must be willing to work independently and must have a flexible schedule to support research needs.
  • Must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • May require travel to and between various Institute campuses and greenhouse facilities.


This position requires constant adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, seeing, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading and reasoning.

Application Details

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 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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