LSST Data Management Survey Science Lead - JRID48123

Submission Dates
Archive Date: 
July 31, 2014
Deadline to Apply for Job: 
August 1, 2014
Job Details
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution/Company Name: 
Institution Classification/Type: 
Submission Address for Resumes/CVs
Attention To: 
Please Apply Online
Contact Information For Inquiries About Job
Email Address for Inquiries:
Job Announcement Text: 

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

LSST is a planned, large-aperture, wide-field, ground-based telescope that will survey half the sky every few nights in six optical bands. It will explore a wide range of astrophysical questions, ranging from discovering “killer” asteroids, to examining the nature of dark energy. The project includes an 8-meter class wide field telescope, a 3.2 gigapixel camera with 2-second readout, and a state-of-the-art petascale data management system to process, archive, and distribute the 15 TB of data produced every night. LSST Construction is expected to begin in July 2014, funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy, and last for 8 years. Once completed, the LSST will be the largest and most modern optical survey project ever built.

LSST Data Management (DM) is soliciting applications for the senior position of LSST DM Survey Science Lead within the LSST DM team at the LSST Project Office (Headquarters) in Tucson, AZ. This person will play the leading role in scientific applications of LSST Data Management system on simulations and precursor surveys, to validate its readiness for LSST. They will lead the LSST DM Survey Science group, charged with the integration and test, and science data quality assessment of the DM system. Depending on seniority and skill set the applicant may be considered for a joint faculty appointment with a relevant academic department at the University of Arizona.

The LSST Data Management system will be constructed by a team of 45+ members residing at partner institutions across the United States and Chile. It will include a data processing system spanning two continents, new state-of-the-art image processing algorithms, petascale computing clusters with tens of thousands of cores, large distributed databases, and next-generation analysis toolkits, among others. All LSST DM code is free software (GPL v3), written in modern Python and C++.

Essential Functions:

The LSST DM Survey Science Lead is responsible for providing scientific leadership and direction of the DM Survey Science Group in Tucson. The SSG is tasked with the integration and test, and science data quality assessment of the LSST data management system. The person in this position is expected to take lead in scientific applications of LSST Data Management system on simulations and precursor surveys, to validate its readiness for LSST.

The appointment is for the duration of LSST construction (8 years), with the opportunity of continuation into Survey Operations (10 years). Starting salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and will be highly competitive with comparable faculty positions in academia.

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

The ideal candidate is a broad-thinking, data-driven, astronomer (PhD level) with interest in large surveys, a strong track-record of previous survey science work, hands-on experience with astronomical software, and the potential to lead highly skilled teams.


Apply Online via the AURA Job Board. Please attach a statement of professional interests, CV, and bibliography (PDF Files preferred) to your application. Please include contact information for three people who may be contacted for letters of reference. Application reviews will begin immediately, and continue through August 1st 2014.

AURA/LSST is an affirmative action & equal opportunity employer. AURA actively supports efforts to broaden participation in all Observatory activities. Women and candidates from under-represented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Preference granted to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O'odham reservation.


Included Benefits: 

AURA provides a generous compensation package including health coverage, paid time off and retirement benefits.