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Plant Pathologist

Salary: $28.88-$35.26 hourly / $5,023-$6,132 monthly / Range: 6076

DEFINITION: Under general direction, detects, identifies, controls, and eradicates plant parasitic nematodes and diseases; conducts investigative and educational activities for the purpose of protecting the plant environment; assists in the enforcement of state laws and regulations pertaining to plant diseases; and performs related duties as required.


1. Makes field and laboratory diagnoses of plant nematological and pathological materials; conducts surveys; isolates and identifies nematodes and other organisms which cause diseases in plants; prepares, examines, and interprets histological specimens.
2. Analyzes potential hazards to plant life and makes recommendations for solutions to problems; develops diagnostic resources.
3. Serves as staff consultant to provide expertise on phytopathological and nematode problems; trains and advises co- workers and the public.
4. Assists staff biologists in the enforcement of state laws and regulations as they relate to plant diseases.
5. Prepares news releases, bulletins, and other educational materials on methods to cope with plant diseases; maintains records and prepares reports.


1. Possession of a bachelor's degree in plant pathology, or in a closely-related biological science that included courses in plant pathology and nematology and two years of professional field or laboratory experience in plant pathology or plant parasitic nematology. A master's degree in plant pathology may be substituted for one year of the required experience; or,
2. equivalent combination of training, education, and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Qualifications: A valid California Class C Driver's License is required.

Knowledge of: epidemiology, mycology, bacteriology, virology, taxonomy, physiology, morphology, anatomy, cytology, genetics, organic chemistry, and biochemistry as they relate to plants; taxonomy and economic significance of plant parasitic nematodes; principles and techniques used in identifying, evaluating, and controlling plant diseases and nematodes; various domestic and foreign literature sources pertaining to plant pathology and nematology; importance of plants to a stable ecology; agricultural, horticultural, and native plants from the cultural and botanical standpoint; relationship of plants, plant pests, and pest control to agriculture and the environment; laboratory techniques and methods; legal aspects of making and presenting disease diagnoses; English grammar and usage.

Ability to: perform specialized, standardized, and routine laboratory tests; learn provisions of the California State Food and Agricultural Code as they relate to plant diseases and plant nematology; keep records and prepare reports; balance technical laboratory and field activities with enforcement activities; prepare a variety of written documents; make independent decisions; work with limited supervision; establish and maintain effective working relations with co-workers and with the public.


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