Turf and IPM Specialist

WDR-00043634 Turf and IPM Specialist - Riverhead, NY


The Turf and Integrated Pest Management Specialist is responsible for providing leadership in the planning, implementing, delivery, and evaluation of the applied research and extension educational programs the Pest Management for Suffolk County Properties Program and Turf Fertilizer Management Program. The Suffolk County County Code Chapter 380 (L.L. 34-1999) mandated a phase-out of pesticides in County buildings and properties by 2003. Suffolk County and Cornell Cooperative Extension have since assumed joint leadership roles in developing and implementing structural and outdoor pest management programs for Suffolk County-owned properties. The Program aids Suffolk County in implementing integrated pest management strategies in situations where pesticides have been reduced or eliminated, providing diagnoses, training, public outreach, and research and demonstration projects under Community Advisory Committee (CAC) guidance to further the goals of pesticide-free buildings and land care practices on Suffolk County-owned properties and in the County at large.
The Program also provides leadership for the implementing Suffolk County Local Law 41-2007, addressing water quality through reduction of nitrogen fertilizers in commercial landscape management. This comprehensive fertilizer educational program includes educational training to landscape professionals and county staff, written resources, and one-on-one consultations regarding use of nitrogen fertilizers. The Specialist also serves as a resource for all residential, commercial, and agricultural turf management. The target stakeholders and areas of work include Suffolk County staff and properties – golf courses, parks, landscapes, county facilities and buildings, highways, and right-of-ways – as well as residential, commercial, and agricultural sod.
The Turf and Integrated Pest Management Specialist is responsible for administrative and programmatic supervision of staff, managing available resources, and assuring accountability requirements are met. The Specialist represents CCE-Suffolk and the Programs to the public, community leaders, government officials, and Cornell University along with program and coordination responsibilities. The Specialist serves under the overall direction of the Agriculture Issue Leader, seeking input in non-routine situations. The Turf and Pest Management Specialist will serve as a subject matter expert to program committees, Cornell Cooperative Extension staff, and clientele, coordinating work with other agencies and other groups on a local, regional, and statewide basis.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Turfgrass Management, Integrated Pest Management, Horticulture, Entomology, Plant Pathology or related discipline relevant to the role of the position.
  • Experience and ability to work independently, part of a team, and with staff, cooperating agencies and County personnel.
  • Ability to communicate effectively through oral, written, and visual channels with external partners, program participants, employees, and others.
  • Ability to initiate, plan, teach, and evaluate informal and formal educational programs.
  • Must exercise sound and ethical judgment when acting on behalf of the Program and the Association.
  • Ability to work outdoors, and to perform physical tasks as required.
  • Willing to work with, in and around areas where pesticides are used regularly and to work under varying climatic and other conditions common to farm, field and other horticulture work environments (heat, cold, rain, noise and dust)
  • Willing to work with structural, turf and landscape pests which can include rodents, cockroaches, ants, stinging wasps, termites, flies, birds, poison ivy, mosquitoes, ticks, etc., and to follow health and safety protocols regarding personal protection.
  • Proficiency with computer skills such as word processing, spreadsheet and data entry, information access and data analysis
  • Willing to obtain a NYS Commercial Pesticide Applicator license, if necessary.
  • Ability to meet travel requirements associated with this position, which includes having a valid NYS driver’s license and personal vehicle for on-the-job transportation, 3 years driving experience and pass a motor vehicle screening.
  • Ability to meet acceptable background check standards.
  • Ability to work flexible hours which may include evenings and/or weekends, as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of practical weed, pest, and disease management in ornamental horticulture and/or agriculture.
  • Knowledge of structural pests and management.
  • Experience in the field of turf management.
  • Experience with planning, teaching, and evaluating adult educational programs.
  • Experience with or knowledge of Cooperative Extension or similar educational fields, and knowledge of the philosophy, objectives, and operation of an informal education system such as Cornell University Cooperative Extension
  • Ability to identify and secure funding that supports program work, including grant writing, and developing public and private partnerships.


Salary: $60,000-65,000 Salary

Schedule: EXEMPT 40 hours per week

No relocation or VISA Sponsorship available

Last updated March 5, 2024