Position Summary

Descriptive Title

14-21 Area Extension Program Associate, Horticulture and Natural Resources, Tri River Area, Mesa County, Grand Junction, CO

Salary and Other Benefits

The salary range for this position is $42,000-$45,000. Starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.

Position Description

We are committed to increasing the diversity of our staff and providing culturally responsive programs and services. Therefore, we encourage responses from people of all backgrounds and abilities. We invite you to review Colorado State University’s Principles of Community that guide our mission and vision of access, teaching, service and engagement.

The Tri River Area (TRA) is a multi-county partnership including Mesa, Delta, Montrose, and Ouray counties. Mesa County has a population of approximately 155,000 with Grand Junction as the primary urban community. Grand Junction serves as a major trade and medical center for western Colorado and eastern Utah. The county office is in Grand Junction. Delta County has a population of approximately 30,000 and the county office is in Delta. Montrose County has a population of approximately 41,000 and the county office is located in Montrose. Ouray County has a population of approximately 4,100 with the county office housed in the Montrose office. The area population is growing as people relocate for employment, retirement, and the desirability of the area as a place to live. Natural wonders provide abundant year-round recreational activities including camping, skiing, hiking, hunting and fishing. To learn more about Colorado State University Extension, go to http://extension.colostate.edu/.

Colorado State University encourages professional development and provides an Employee Study Privilege with up to 9 credit hours of tuition assistance annually.


This position provides leadership and support for the Tri River Area’s Colorado Master Gardener program and serves as part of the area’s Horticulture and Natural Resource educational programming team. This position is primarily based in Mesa County. The individual will work one day/week in the Montrose County Extension office and at least one day per month in the Delta County Extension office during the growing season, coordinating and providing oversight to the CSU Master Gardener volunteers. The individual in this position works as a member of the local area Extension team and as a local representative of Colorado State University. This individual works under the guidance and supervision of the Tri River Area Horticultural Agent.


Program Planning, Development, Delivery, Evaluation and Reporting: 50%

  • Provided leadership and support for the area’s CSU Master Gardener Apprentice Training.
  • Responsible for training of the Ute Learning Garden (ULG) docents and volunteers, publicity of ULG to area teachers and other entities, coordination with partner agencies, scheduling of tours and docents/volunteers, and maintaining records of visits. Student visits of 600 or more per year is the desired goal.
  • Provide educational support to local communities by coordinating master gardeners’ demonstrations and presentations.
  • Be responsible for the maintenance of the Horticulture Library at all three offices and keep handout publications available and well organized with the help of volunteers.
  • Be responsible for the maintenance of the Ute Learning Garden and the Arboretum.
  • Coordinate with the Horticulture Agent to oversee non-student hourly personnel.
  • Reporting of monthly, quarterly, and yearly contacts. Also encourages master gardeners to report.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

Volunteer Recruitment, Development and Management: 35%

  • Provide management of the area’s CSU Master Gardener Program volunteers.
  • Prepare volunteers to take on increasing leadership, mid-management, and public education/information roles.
  • Encourage volunteer participation via personal phone calls, emails, and provide follow up and follow through with clear direction to all volunteers.
  • Assist volunteers in the development of public programs.
  • Plan, schedule, and direct work activities for all horticultural volunteers in office and garden areas.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.

Initiate and Develop Relationships and Partnerships: 15%

  • Develop and manage external partnerships and funding sources to support programming efforts.
  • Promote programming for diverse audiences and assure compliance with civil rights and affirmative action policies including reaching out to underserved and underrepresented audiences.
  • Actively participate on collaborating horticultural committees.
  • Foster effective communications and develop strong partnerships with Extension staff, county departments, local schools, and other horticultural or natural resource organizations, Colorado State University staff, community leaders, agencies, and institutions to enhance strong program development, delivery, and evaluation.
  • Assist the needs of all non-commercial horticulture clients with educational programs and services.

Note: % of job assigned to this duty may be changed as the program develops.


  • Completed bachelor’s degree.
  • Degree must have been conferred in horticulture, natural sciences, agriculture, business, or a closely related field. If degree is not earned in one of the stated fields, applicant must have at least 5 years of any combination of education, training, and experience in the broad field of horticulture or natural resources.
  • Demonstrated experience managing volunteers.
  • Ability to communicate through teaching, public speaking/presentation and writing as demonstrated through application materials and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience working with people as individuals and in groups; ability to forge equitable and successful partnerships with other professionals and organizations.
  • Demonstrated use of technology in managing and/or delivering educational programs.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license or access to a licensed driver by the employment start date.


  • Master Gardener certification or similar.
  • Two years’ experience in an educational role in volunteer management, horticulture, plant problem diagnosis or similar field.
  • Personal and/or professional commitment to diversity as demonstrated by persistent effort, active planning, allocation of resources and/or accountability for diversity outcomes.
  • Successful experience in developing financial support for educational programs including grant writing, fundraising, contracting, or cost recovery efforts.
  • Garden or landscape maintenance experience such as weed control, spraying, planting, pruning and other general maintenance.
  • Ability to speak Spanish.


Colorado State University is committed to providing employees with a strong and competitive benefits package that supports you, your health, and your family. Visit CSU’s Human Resources website for detailed benefit plan information for permanent full-time and part-time faculty and administrative professional employees in the following University benefit areas. https://hr.colostate.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2021/01/benefits-summary-afap.pdf.


Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Acting Title IX Coordinator is the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO. 80523-0160, (970) 491-1715, titleix@colostate.edu.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.


Colorado State University strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will also be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the University, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.


For full consideration, all materials must be RECEIVED no later than 11:59 PM Mountain Time on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Please submit the following to apply:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Transcript of college(s) course work showing degrees conferred. Please remove all references to birth date or social security number.
  • Special Required Documentation – Statement (no more than 5 pages) of how you meet all applicable “Required” and “Preferred” Job Qualifications. Please respond to each bullet point separately.

All applicants will be contacted approximately 15 working days after the deadline regarding their status. Next steps and interview dates will be shared to those moving forward. Four professional references will be requested of applicants that advance in the interview process.

For questions regarding the application process, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at (970) 491-5836 or email oeo@colostate.edu. For questions regarding the job vacancy, responsibilities, and salary, please contact Douglas Dean at (970) 244-1840 or Douglas.Dean@colostate.edu.

Driver’s license or alternate transportation required?


Contact Name

Douglas Dean

Contact Email


Contact Phone

(970) 244-1840