Museum of Science

Science Park
Boston, MA 02114

Date Posted:
September 05, 2019

Eastern Massachusetts



Lead Horticulturist


Lead Horticulturist

Museum of Science, Boston

Innovation and creativity come from the unique perspectives of a diverse staff. We value your perspective.


The Lead Horticulturalist is primarily responsible for providing a high quality visitor experience through maintaining and practicing high professional standards for the horticultural care, display and interpretation of the Museum's living plant collection in the Butterfly Garden. The position assists in the monitoring of USDA containment procedures and equipment promptly reporting problems to the Curators and/or the Facilities Department. As a member of the Living Collections Department, this role also develops and presents plant biology/natural history oriented interpretations and programs and actively engages visitors on this topics. Lastly, the Lead Horticulturalist supervises the operation of the Butterfly Garden two days per week as well as in the Curator of Invertebrate's absence.


  • Assists in the daily supervision of 2 full-time and 4 part-time staff as well as a minimum of 10 volunteers weekly and 20 interns annually
  • Supervises the daily operation of the Butterfly Garden on two of hers/his weekly shifts.
  • Manages a $9000 plant and horticultural supply budget and a $17,000 Integrated Pest Management Budget
  • Maintains a plant collection for a 3200 square foot Butter Garden
  • Maintains an 600 square foot out door plant nursery from April to October
  • Propagates or purchases 3000 plants on a yearly basis.
  • Monitors the plant conditions for two green walls (approximately 600 square feet of plants) and oversees approximately 24 onsite visits by the contract horticulturalist.
  • Propagates and maintains plants for a minimum of two Museum programs and one exhibit outside of the Butterfly Garden (expectation is these numbers will increase over time).
  • Shares the responsibility of monitoring approximately 100,000+ Butterfly Garden visitors yearly.
  • Approximately two hours daily is devoted to interpreting plant/insect biology to the Museum's guests.
  • Assists in monitoring the health of approximately 350 live butterflies on a daily basis
  • Assists in monitoring the health of approximately 20 colonies of non-butterfly insects and invertebrates.
  • Ability to work in a warm (78-82 degrees), humid (60-70% relative humidity) environment.


This position is full-time, 40hrs/wk, Tuesday-Saturday, 8am-5pm.


Manager, Living Collections

  • Bachelors of Science or Arts degree.
  • 3 or more years of experience caring for living botanical collections in a public garden, conservatory, zoo, aquarium, nature center, science museum or natural history museum.
  • Working knowledge and experience with horticultural practices in a commercial/research greenhouse, conservatory, botanical garden, zoo, aquarium, nature center, science or natural history museum.
  • Working knowledge and experience using Integrated Pest Management to control plant pests.
  • Experience supervising staff and/or volunteers in a commercial green house, conservatory, botanical garden, zoo, aquarium, nature center or science or natural history museum.
  • Demonstrated public speaking and interpretation skills.
  • Comfort level working with the public in a very busy setting.


Non-Exempt (Hourly).


Benefits for full-time, non-exempt (hourly) staff include: free parking, T accessibility, 15 vacation days, 12 holidays, 10 sick days, medical, dental, and vision insurance, short- and long-term disability, life insurance, retirement and savings plan, health care/dependent care flex spending plan, employee discounts, employee referral program, tuition assistance, professional development, direct deposit, free admission, free Duck Tours, discounted movie passes, and much more!

The Museum of Science is fully committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and to attracting, retaining, developing and promoting the most qualified employees without regard to their race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, citizenship status, veteran status, or any other characteristic prohibited by federal, state or local law. We are dedicated to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment, and where employees are treated with respect and dignity.

No phone inquiries, please. Qualified applicants will be contacted within two to four weeks of initial application.

How To Apply:
For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the website below. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website.
Apply by:
October 03, 2019
About this Organization:
In 1830, six men interested in natural history established the Boston Society of Natural History, an organization through which they could pursue their common scientific interests. Devoted to collecting and studying natural history specimens, the society displayed its collections in numerous temporary facilities until 1864, when it opened the New England Museum of Natural History at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston Streets in Boston's Back Bay. That Museum is now known world-wide as the Museum of Science.

After World War II, under the leadership of Bradford Washburn, the Society sold the Berkeley Street building, changed its name to the Boston Museum of Science (later, dropping Boston from the name) and negotiated with the Metropolitan District Commission a 99-year lease for land spanning the Charles River Basin, now known as Science Park. In 1948, the Museum designed and built the first traveling planetarium in New England to promote the development of a new Museum building. The cornerstone for the new Museum was laid at Science Park a year later, and a temporary building was erected to house the Museum's collections and staff.

In 1951, the first wing of the new Museum officially opened, making the Museum the first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Comprising 14,000 square feet of exhibit space, the new Museum's first wing was already much larger than the entire exhibits area of the old Berkeley building. That same year, one of the most endearing and memorable symbols of the Museum, 'Spooky,' the Great Horned Owl, was given to the Museum as an owlet. Spooky lived to the age of 38 years, becoming the oldest known living member of his species.During the next two decades. the Museum greatly expanded its exhibits and facilities. In 1956, the Museum was successful in campaigning for a Science Park MBTA station that now brings visitors to within 200 yards of the Museum. The Charles Hayden Planetarium, funded by major gifts from the Charles Hayden Foundation, opened in 1958.

By 1968, further building expansion was under way as ground was broken for the Museum's west wing which was completed in the early 1970s. The Elihu Thomson Theater of Electricity, which houses the 2 1/2 million-volt Van de Graaff generator -- the two-story tall high voltage electricity generator given to the Museum by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956-opened in 1980.

The Museum has remained on the cutting edge of science education by developing innovative and interactive exhibits and programs that both entertain and educate.

Two of the Museum's more recent additions, the Hall Wing housing the Roger L. Nichols Gallery for temporary exhibits, and the Mugar Omni Theater, exemplify the Museum of Science's commitment to making science fun and accessible to all. The Mugar Omni Theater, opened in 1987, utilizes state-of-the-art film technology to project larger-than-life images onto a five-story high, domed screen, creating a 'you are there' experience for viewers.

More than 1.6 million people visit the Museum and its more than 400 interactive exhibits each year.