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Series established August 29, 1979
This series specification describes the Agricultural Biologist classes within the Department of Food and Agriculture.
The Agricultural Biologist series describes professional responsibilities of individuals involved in various activities directed at the exclusion, detection, control or eradication of plant pests and/or plant diseases to assure protection of both agricultural and ornamental plants within the State of California.
Incumbents in these classes research, analyze, evaluate and make recommendations on agricultural biology problems; make technical investigations on insect, plant pathogen, nematode or weed and vertebrate pest problems; develop and direct surveys to determine the extent and status of plant pests, plant diseases and exclusionary activities; devise control techniques; locate, collect, examine and identify specimens; provide advisory and technical services to various agricultural industries, agriculture commissioners and their staff and the general public in weed and vertebrate, nursery service or exclusionary regulatory activities to ensure compliance with agricultural laws and regulations.
Level and variety of work assigned; independence of action, degree of responsibility for policy formulation and implementation; size of staff; geographic area of responsibility.
This is the fully qualified journey level. Under direction, incumbents perform the full range of duties involving planning, organizing and coordinating one of the State-County cooperative programs in the detection, eradication, control or exclusion of plant pests and diseases. Incumbents may (work independently or perform lead tasks) in either a detection, weed and vertebrate, nursery and seed, or exclusion program. Incumbents develop and direct field surveys, devise survey techniques, and conduct advisory and training services to various agricultural interests within assigned area of responsibility.
This is the first supervisory or staff specialist level. As a supervisor, incumbents are responsible for planning, organizing and directing subordinates in agricultural biology activities on a statewide basis coordinating agricultural biology activities with other governmental agencies; developing new pest detection, eradication, control and exclusion methods; developing, planning and conducting training to State and County personnel; assisting in policy evaluations.
As a staff specialist, incumbents provide senior level of scientific staff guidance on a statewide basis relating to areas of technical agricultural biology methodology and evaluation.
Experience: Four years of professional experience as a biologist in one of the following fields: weed and vertebrate pests, nursery and seed, or exclusion. (Possession of a Ph.D. in a biological science may be substituted for three years of the required experience or possession of a master's degree in a biological science may be substituted for two years of the required experience.) and
Education: Equivalent to graduation from college with a major in a biological science including at least ten semester units in plant biology and ten semester units in vertebrate biology.
One year of experience in the California state civil service performing the duties of an Associate Agricultural Biologist.
Experience: Five years of professional experience as a biologist in one of the following fields: weed and vertebrate pests, nursery and seed, or exclusion, one year of which shall have been in a supervisory capacity. (Possession of a Ph.D. in a biological science may be substituted for three years of the required non-supervisory experience or possession of a master's degree in a biological science may be substituted for two years of the non-supervisory experience.) and
Education: Equivalent to graduation from college with major work in a biological science including ten semester units in plant biology and ten semester units in vertebrate biology.
Knowledge of: General botany; general zoology; mammology; botanical and zoological classification and identification; pest control methods, materials, and equipment; pest problems affecting the production of agricultural crops; State and Federal laws pertaining to plant pests and plant diseases; life history, hosts and distribution of insects, plant diseases, noxious weeds and animal pests being guarded against; treatment methods for infested products and proper disposition procedures; and principles of personnel management.
Ability to: Plan, organize and coordinate the work assignments with county staff as needed; establish and maintain effective working relationships with Federal, State, and County agencies and with those contacted during the course of work; make reliable field observations on damage or loss; make special studies of agricultural biology problems; evaluate results, interpret findings, and make control recommendations; interpret and apply the laws and regulations related to agricultural biology; follow oral and written directions; communicate effectively and prepare reports; keep accurate records; utilize and apply effectively required knowledge and skills and achieve professional competence in the field of agricultural biology; do highly specialized surveys and investigations; present training programs; effectively apply principles of evaluation, training, and management; and prepare scientific and general reports.
Knowledge of: All of the above, and chemistry and mode of action of chemical toxicants used in pest control; poisonous plants and their toxic effects; literature sources relating to plant pests and plant diseases; principles of public administration, including personnel management and supervision; Department's Equal Employment Opportunity Program objectives; a manager's role in the Equal Employment Opportunity Program and the processes available to meet the objectives.
Ability to: All of the above, and plan, organize and direct the work of others in pest control projects; coordinate a statewide program; participate in formulation of policies and administrative regulations and in program development and evaluation; deliver public addresses; effectively contribute to the Department's Equal Employment Opportunity objectives.
Willingness to travel throughout the State and to work unusual hours.
Normal hearing or hearing corrected to normal.