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Assistant Professor of Environmental Horticulture

University of Florida

Assistant Professor of Environmental Horticulture

Job No: 524753
Work Type:
Location: Gadsden
Categories: RealCat
Department: 60770000 - AG-NFREC-QUINCY

Job Description

Classification Title:

Ast Prof

Job Description:

Assistant Professor of Environmental Horticulture
Specialization: Production, Evaluation/Selection/Breeding of Native and Non-native Nursery and Landscape Crops

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment of inclusive excellence that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. Inclusive excellence is the active process of including and respecting everyone as we strive for excellence and equitable outcomes in all we do at the University of Florida. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

This is a 12-month tenure-accruing position that will be 40% Research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station) and 60% Extension (Florida Cooperative Extension Service), available at the North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC), Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), at the University of Florida (UF). This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit.

Duties will include the development of a productive, innovative, interdisciplinary, and extramurally funded Extension and Research program with emphasis on sustainable production of nursery and landscape crops.

  • Conduct research to support industry accepted nursery and landscape crops in all areas of production. Conduct research on introduction, assessment (including invasiveness risk), and development of production practices of currently grown crops and new nursery and landscape crops in line with the SEEDIT program objectives of UF-IFAS. This may involve leading research and collaborative efforts in media/substrate, nutrient, water, pest, disease, and weed management research. Utilization of new technologies in this research may include sensing, robotics, and artificial intelligence tools for improvements in production and profitability in nursery and landscape crops in line with the UF's leadership in Artificial Intelligence (, Similar research efforts are also expected for currently grown nursery and landscape crops in Florida.
  • Evaluate, select and breed new germplasm and study its adaptability that may contribute to nursery, landscape, and native and non-native plant markets in FL, and the southeastern US enterprises. The candidate is expected to play a critical role in the UF-IFAS plant breeding program ( The Gardens of the Big Bend will offer a unique environment to trial new and existing nursery and landscape crops. In both areas of emphasis there will be an expectation to build strong collaborative partnerships with researchers at UF, other universities, federal agencies, and private partners. The natives that could be considered for the program include wild sweet basil, beach rosemary, native aster, black titi, buttonbush, Simpson's stopper, American strawberry bush, wild olive, native blueberry, sparkleberry, fetterbush, firebush, swamp privet, red buckeye, sweetbay, native cherries and plums, native hibiscus, wild coffee, and native verbena. Among non-natives, crops for consideration include rose, magnolia, hydrangea, and crapemyrtle.

  • Extension
  • Providing leadership, training, and assistance through programs that serve a diverse clientele including county Extension faculty, wholesale and retail nurseries, landscaping companies, and industry personnel, homeowners, master gardeners, and decision/policy makers.
  • The incumbent will develop educational programs and products on nursery and landscape crops that enhance productivity and profitability while minimizing negative environmental impacts.
  • Directing the Gardens of the Big Bend at UF-IFAS NFREC that includes volunteer coordination, fundraising, event planning and other initiatives. The Big Bend Gardens feature individually themed gardens including nationally accredited plant collections that are open year-round for the public to explore.

  • Tenure will accrue in the Department of Environmental Horticulture. The faculty member will be expected to seek contract and grant funding actively to support their program. The faculty member will be expected to engage in Extension activities in their program area. The successful candidate will be expected to participate actively in undergraduate and graduate education by chairing and serving on graduate committees, supervising thesis, dissertation, and undergraduate research, and publishing research results with students. The incumbent must consistently publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and through extension outlets related to their assigned duties. The faculty member will also engage in Extension activities in their program area, actively collaborating with county extension agents and state extension specialists. Faculty are expected to engage in professional development activities related to advising, mentoring, and diversity training.

    Because of the IFAS land-grant mission, all faculty are expected to be supportive of and engaged in all three mission areas—Research, Teaching and Extension—regardless of the assignment split specified in the position description.

    Background Information:

    The North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) is one of the largest and the most diverse units within UF/IFAS, consisting of research, Extension, and education locations in Quincy, Marianna, and Suwannee Valley (Live Oak), Florida. NFREC has 23 active faculty members representing eight academic departments, the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, the Food Systems Institute, the Northeast Extension District (County Operations), four emeritus faculty members, and a dynamic population of post-doctoral associates, graduate students, scientific/farm/administrative staff, visiting students and short-term scholars. NFREC-Quincy also is the home to the District Extension Director for Northwest Florida, staff, and 2 Regional Specialized Agents. NFREC-Suwannee Valley at Live Oak is home to four Regional Specialized Extension Agents shared by NFREC and the Northeast Extension District. The diversity of faculty, staff, and programs provides a unique setting for interdisciplinary work within NFREC locations, colleagues on main campus, with faculty at other UF/IFAS RECs and Sites around the state, and with collaborators across the U.S. and around the world.

    NFREC interacts with state and federal agencies, such as Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Florida's Water Management Districts. In addition to entities like the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, Nature Conservancy, the Rodale Institute, Coca-Cola, and a variety of industries related to forestry, seed/planting material, diagnostics, and agrichemicals are engaged with programs at NFREC. NFREC faculty conduct research and Extension programs in collaboration with colleagues in the southeastern US, nationally and internationally. The programs at NFREC are designed to help agricultural and natural resource clientele adapt and manage resources and agricultural operations effectively and profitably in a changing socioeconomic and environmentally aware setting. Each of the NFREC locations operates highly active farms with 1,288 acres in Marianna, 1,021 acres in Quincy, and 388 acres in Suwannee Valley. Farms in NFREC locations conduct research on crop (agronomy, horticulture) production including basic practices, pathology, entomology, and soil fertility. In Marianna, a beef cattle herd is part of the research/Extension program. In Quincy, a botanic/teaching garden (Gardens of the Big Bend) is part of the Extension program.

    The mission of NFREC is to develop and disseminate science-based information about economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture and natural systems through basic and applied research and Extension to sustain and enhance the economy, natural environment, and quality of life in north Florida.

    Employment Conditions

    This position is available June 1, 2023 and will be filled thereafter when the successful candidate is available to start. Compensation is commensurate with the education, experience, and qualifications of the successful candidate.

    Expected Salary:

    Commensurate with Education and Experience

    Minimum Requirements:

    A doctorate (foreign equivalent acceptable) in environmental horticulture, crop science, soil and water science, agronomy, or a closely related discipline is required. Candidates earning their PhD by May 2023 are also welcome to apply. Candidates should have demonstrated skills in verbal and written communication, interpersonal relationships, and procurement of extramural funding. Candidates must be supportive of the mission of the Land-Grant system. Candidates must also have a commitment to IFAS core values of excellence, diversity, global involvement, and accountability.

    Preferred Qualifications:

    Postdoctoral experience is desirable. Experience with cooperative extension or public scientific communication is also desirable.

    Special Instructions to Applicants:

    For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit materials by January 30, 2023. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.


    Nominations are welcome. Nominations need to include the complete name and address of the nominee. This information should be sent to:

    Dr. Mathews L. Paret

    Chair, Search and Screen Committee

    University of Florida

    North Florida Research and Education Center

    155 Research Road

    Quincy, FL 32351

    Telephone: 850-875-7154

    Electronic Mail: [email protected]

    Application Information
  • Individuals wishing to apply should go online to Careers at UF and submit:
  • Cover letter that states applicant's interest in the position and qualifications relative to the credentials listed above
  • A one-page statement of Extension philosophy
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact information (including email addresses) for three individuals willing to write letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts

  • Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

    Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

    The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.

    Health Assessment Required:

    Advertised Salary:

    Minimum Requirements

    Preferred Qualifications

    Special Instructions to Applicants

    Health Assessment Required: $Health

    Applications Close: $Closes

    To apply, visit

    The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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