Two Grounds employees prune a tree

Apply by April 1: Grounds Supervisor

Help steward and expand sustainable landscapes across the UC Davis campus. Apply to be a Grounds Supervisor at UC Davis, 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 April. 1, 2024

WHY JOIN the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden?

EXPLORE UC Davis' Competitive HEALTH and RETIREMENT Benefits

Job summary

Under general supervision by the Grounds Superintendent, direct and administer the design implementation, maintenance, installation and inspection of Grounds operations for assigned areas. This position plays a key role in the expansion and maintenance of sustainable landscapes across campus. This position will be scheduled Tuesday through Saturday.

Create and maintain a positive and respectful working environment. Ensure 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.  Manage personnel functions such as safety, training, diversity, corrective action and performance management. Act as first point of contact for campus customers.

Job Expectations

  • Read, understand, and follow the UC Davis Principles of Community
  • Strong initiative and customer service standards
  • Highly motivated and results oriented
  • Must maintain flexibility in a continuously changing and fast paced work environment
  • Make well planned decisions; analyze situations, define problems and/or objectives, identify relevant factors, formulate logical conclusions and suggest alternative solutions
  • Professional communication skills, tact, and diplomacy
  • Ensure consistency in formatting, writing style, and presentation of all communications
  • Maintain confidentiality of files and data

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 when the regular supervisor is unavailable.
  • Making scheduled and unscheduled inspections of assigned areas to ensure staff/teams are completing work and appropriate standards are maintained.
  • Creating checklists and training staff on landscape tasks assigned. Coordinating regular weekly areas staff work in to ensure all areas get needed attention.
  • Prioritizing, assigning, and monitoring client work requests to ensure efficient completion, on time and within budget.
  • Planning, directing, and coordinating 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)
    • selection of pesticides most appropriate to the time of year and type of pest.
  • Developing schedules for mowing, edging, weeding, cultivations, pruning and tree trimming.
  • Managing 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.
  • Ensuring staff/teams have the appropriate equipment, tools, and supplies necessary to efficiently perform duties.
  • Providing cost estimates for both labor and material on client requested work. Performing pruning on a variety of shrubs, trees and ground covers.
  • Operating a variety of lifts and power tools. Participating in the planning, installation, and planting of new areas.
  • Performing preparation, transportation, planting and irrigation maintenance for establishment period of plants.
  • Completing annual and bi-annual workload projects, collecting data and insuring performance standards. Acting as a backup for Groundskeepers, Groundskeeper Gardeners, Equipment Operator and Irrigation technicians.
  • Working with program and facility staff for special needs, access, and schedules.
  • Using 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.

Physical/Mental Demands

  • Mental Demands: Constant analytical thinking, problem solving, performing detailed work and balancing multiple concurrent task. Frequent verbal and written communication
  • Physical Demands: Ability to work outdoors in extreme weather conditions, climb 12 foot ladders, lift up to 50 pounds and maneuver a loaded wheelbarrow weighing up to 50 pounds. Frequent standing, walking, squatting, stooping, bending, talking and hearing. Occasional climbing, crawling, kneeling, pushing, reaching and twisting.
  • Elements Exposed to: Occasional chemicals, dirt, hazards, heat and cold.


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; conveying a professional and businesslike image to a diverse student, staff, and general public population; and remaining calm and professional when dealing with difficult, disgruntled, or 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.
  • Possession of a valid California Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC).

Preferred Qualifications

  • 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 ensure adequate staffing and project scheduling to achieve timely progress on multiple projects and meet deadlines and maintain a high level of productivity.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.

Special Requirements

  • Work irregular shifts, including weekends, holidays, and evenings. Available for emergency response.
  • Employee is personally responsible for following health and safety guidelines/instructions.
  • Valid California driver’s license required.
  • Participate in the Department of Motor Vehicles Pull Notice System.
  • Subject to completion of a pre-placement medical exam provided by Occupational Health Services.
  • 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.
  • 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.

LEARN MORE and APPLY by April 1, 2024

WHY JOIN the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden?

EXPLORE UC Davis' Competitive HEALTH and RETIREMENT Benefits

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