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    June 2018
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Plant Pathologist, Forest Health Protection office in Asheville, NC


Position Description:

This Plant Pathologist position serves as the Manager of the Resistance Screening Center located at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest.  The position is responsible for providing service to a variety of clients including national forests, other federal agencies, state forestry organizations, private industry, colleges and universities located primarily in the Southern Region. The Resistance Screening Center is a facility where plant materials are screened against a variety of plant pathogens to determine resistance.  Fusiform rust, pitch canker, Phytophthora root rot, dogwood anthracnose, and brown spot are a few of the pathogens of interest.  The facility consists of a glass greenhouse, two plastic greenhouses, a soil/media mixing building, a head house, a laboratory and administrative offices.  The position requires field and laboratory work.  Travel will be occasional as some work locations are more than a day’s drive from the field office.  As a member of the Asheville Field Office staff, the plant pathologist will cooperate and collaborate with other plant pathologists, biological scientists, technicians, and other specialists to produce reports that address forest pathology issues of local, regional and national importance.  The work may involve diseases caused by both native and introduced pathogens.  This position supervises two full time Biological Science Technicians.

Deadline: July 31, 2018

 Duty Station Specifics:

This position is part of the Southern Region’s Regional Office Forest Health Protection Staff located in the Asheville Field Office.  The duty station is the Asheville Field Office 200 W.T. Weaver Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28804 which is located in the headquarters building of the Southern Research Station.  The physical location of the Resistance Screening Center is 1579 Brevard Road, Asheville, NC 28806.


The Southern Region is a dynamic collection of lands, cared for by people as a legacy for future

generations. We believe that benefits to people flow from healthy land, which is conserved through wise management and that management is most effective when shared. The Forest Service employs about 250 people at the Atlanta regional headquarters, and about 3,000 throughout the South. There are 13.3 million acres of National Forest System lands in the Southern Region, and because of fragmentation and population pressures, State and Private

Forestry is integral to the Region’s overall program delivery.  The Asheville Field Office has primary responsibility for the prevention, detection, evaluation and suppression of insects and diseases on national forests, other federal agency and state and private forest lands in the eastern 7 states of Region 8 as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


Asheville is the largest city in western North Carolina with a population approaching 100,000.  Nestled in the southern Appalachian mountains, Asheville is a collection of the old and the new, where history and technology merge.  Unique architecture, beautiful mountain scenery, recreation opportunities galore, a thriving arts culture, the Biltmore Estate and the recent growth of micro-breweries, make Asheville a prime tourist destination.   Asheville is also home to the National Climatic Data Center, the world’s largest active archive of weather data and the Blue Ridge Parkway Headquarters.

Population: The population is diverse.  The racial composition of the city was: 78.92% White, 13.00% Black or African American, 7.33% Hispanic or Latino American, 1.39% Asian American, 0.38% Native American and Alaskan Native , 0.06% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 3.33% some other race, and 2.91% two or more races.  The median household income was $50, 632, and the median family income was $59, 335. The per capita income for the city was $28, 106.

History: Before the arrival of the Europeans, the land where Asheville now exists lay within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation.  In 1540, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto came to the area, bringing the first European visitors along with European diseases, which seriously depleted the native population. The area was used as an open hunting ground until the middle of the 19th century. Buncombe County was officially formed in 1792. The county seat, named “Morristown” in 1793, was established on a plateau where two old Indian trails crossed. In 1797, Morristown was incorporated and renamed “Asheville” after North Carolina Governor Samuel Ashe. On October 2, 1880, the Western North Carolina Railroad completed its line from Salisbury to Asheville, the first rail line to reach the city.  With the completion of the first railway, Asheville experienced a slow but steady growth as industrial plants increased in number and size, and new residents built homes. Textile mills were established and plants were set up for the manufacture of wood and mica products, foodstuffs, and other commodities.

Asheville prospered in the decades of the 1910s and 1920s and at one point was the third largest city in the state, behind Charlotte and Wilmington.

Asheville pops up on national rankings for a variety of things: “a New Age Mecca”  the “New Freak Capital of the U.S, one of “The 50 Most Alive Places To Be”, the “Happiest City for Women”,  one of the “Best Places to Reinvent Your Life”,  one of the “Best Outside Towns”, one of the “Top Seven Places to Live in the U.S, one of the “10 Most Beautiful Places in America”,  one of the “25 Best Places for Business and Careers” , and one of “20 Great Cities For Writers”.  Asheville has been listed as one of the “Top 25 Small Cities for Art” in AmericanStyle magazine’s annual list from 2000 to 2012 and has reigned the champion “Beer City USA” each year from 2009 to 2012.Dozens of microbreweries dot the downtown and major producers, including New Belgium Brewing Company (opening 2015) are in the process of building in or near the city.

In his 2008 book, The Geography of Bliss, author Eric Weiner cited Asheville as one of the happiest places in the United States. Recent national accolades: “Best city in America for locavores” 2014, “The hippie capital of the South” 2014, “#1 most popular city for retirement out of 900+ U.S. cities” 2014, “#1 town to live and work in as a movie maker” 2014, One of 6 top “Alternative Travel Destinations for 2014”  2014, “One of 20 cities you should visit in your 20s” 2014, “#1 of 12 Dreamy Towns for Vegan Living” 2013, “One of 10 Tastiest Towns in the South” 2013, “Hippest City in the South” 2013, “One of America’s Best River Towns” 2012, “Most Romantic Place in USA and Canada” 2012, “Top 10 Great Sunny Places to Retire”, “10 Fantastically Yoga-Friendly Destinations” 2011.

Climate: The climate of Asheville is a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), resembling the rest of the Piedmont region of the southeastern U.S., but with noticeably cooler temperatures due to the higher altitude; it is part of USDA Hardiness zone 7a.[38] The area’s summers in particular, though warm, are not as hot as summers in cities farther east in the state, as the July daily average temperature is 73.8 °F (23.2 °C) and there is an average of only 9.4 days with 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs annually;[a] the last time a calendar year has passed without 90 °F readings is 2009. Moreover, warm nights where the low remains at or above 70 °F (21 °C) are much more uncommon than 90 °F temperatures. Winters are cool, with a January daily average of 37.1 °F (2.8 °C) and highs remaining at or below freezing on 5.5 days. [39]

Official record temperatures range from −16 °F (−27 °C) on January 21, 1985 to 100 °F (38 °C) on August 21, 1983;[40][41] the record cold daily maximum is 4 °F (−16 °C) on February 4, 1895, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 77 °F (25 °C) on July 17, 1887.[39] Readings as low as 0 °F (−18 °C) or as high as 95 °F (35 °C) rarely occur, the last occurrences being January 7, 2014 and July 1, 2012, respectively.[39] The average window for freezing temperatures is October 17 to April 18, allowing a growing season of 181 days.

Precipitation is relatively well spread, though the summer months are noticeably wetter, and totals 45.6 inches (1,160 mm) annually, but historically ranging from 22.79 in (579 mm) in 1925 to 75.22 in (1,911 mm) in 2013. Snowfall is sporadic, averaging 9.9 inches (25.1 cm) per winter, but actual seasonal accumulation varies considerably from one winter to the next; accumulation has ranged from trace amounts in 2011–12 to 48.2 inches (122.4 cm) in 1968–69.

Housing: Asheville has it all! “In-town” or country living. Prices range from modest to millions! Median home prices start at about $243,500.  For more information, check out the http://www.ashevillerealestate.com/ site for more information.

Medical: A good selection of health care is available, including doctors, dentists, and specialists.

A wide variety of home care, adult day care, nursing homes and mental health facilities is also available.

Education: Public Asheville City Schools include Asheville High School, School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville, Asheville Middle School, Claxton Elementary, Randolph Learning Center, Hall Fletcher Elementary, Isaac Dickson Elementary, Ira B. Jones Elementary and Vance Elementary. Asheville High has been ranked by Newsweek magazine as one of the top 100 high schools in the United States. The Buncombe County School System operates high schools, middle schools and elementary schools both inside and outside the city of Asheville. Clyde A. Erwin High School, T C Roberson High School and A. C. Reynolds High School are three Buncombe County schools located in Asheville.

Nearby UNC Asheville, Warren Wilson, Mars Hill, Brevard and Montreat colleges, and Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College provide additional education opportunities.

Transportation:  Asheville is served by Asheville Regional Airport in nearby Fletcher, North Carolina, and by Interstate 40, Interstate 240, and Interstate 26. The city operates the Asheville Transit System, which consists of sixteen bus lines providing service throughout the City of Asheville and to Black Mountain, North Carolina. Several taxi companies provide service to the downtown and outlying areas.

Shopping and Dining: Asheville features many restaurants serving a multitude of cuisines.  The Asheville and Biltmore Square Malls, downtown stores and a number of strip malls provide a wide selection of stores for your shopping needs.

Places of Worship: Asheville features multiple places of worship for most faiths.

Area Attractions:

  • BB&T Building, tallest structure in Asheville
  • Biltmore Estate
  • Biltmore Park Town Square
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Botanical Gardens at Asheville
  • Cradle of Forestry in America
  • Grove Park Inn
  • Jackson Building, first skyscraper in western North Carolina
  • McCormick Field
  • Moog Music
  • National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)
  • North Carolina Arboretum
  • Pisgah National Forest
  • Smith-McDowell House
  • Thomas Wolfe House


We encourage you to express your interest in the position by completing the attached Outreach Response Form.

Outreach Notices Response Form

Respond to William A. Carothers (wcarothers@fs.fed.us) By July 31, 2018

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