Observing Assistant

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Institution Classification/Type: 
W. M. Keck Observatory
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

What does it take to make the cutting-edge scientific discoveries of tomorrow? It takes a team of people – the right people – who are dedicated to great endeavors and working in new environments and constantly changing situations.

The W. M. Keck Observatory seeks an Observing Assistant to provide observing support and oversee the safe operation of the observatory during night-time operations.

Principal Activities include

  • Control the telescope and related equipment during the observing period to provide support to astronomers in making optimum use of the facility.
  • Serve as the person in charge of the safety of the telescope and facility during night-time observing with responsibility for terminating observing if conditions warrant ensuring that persons and equipment are not placed in jeopardy.
  • Document any problems that occur during observing operations and communicate those problems to the technical staff.
  • Help configure the facility, telescope, and related equipment to prepare for observing.
  • Participate in testing and calibrating the telescope and related equipment to provide support to astronomers in readying equipment for observing.
  • Participate in service and engineering observing as required.
  • Participate in training new observing assistants.
  • Attend meetings and training sessions.
  • Perform other tasks and projects to enhance the overall observing capability.

All qualified applicants, including women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

WMKO provides mentoring and training to the selected candidate.


Bachelor's Degree in a physical science or two years technical or operations experience at an astronomical observatory.


Apply to join a skilled and deeply committed team of professionals who enable exciting and important astronomical discoveries. Submit a cover letter and resume telling us how your background and passion relate to the position. To learn more about this position and to apply, go to https://keckobservatory.applicantpro.com/jobs

About Us

We operate the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth. The two 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes near the summit of Maunakea on the Island of Hawaii feature a suite of advanced instruments and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems. Read about us, our science and our mission, go to www.keckobservatory.org.


Keck Observatory offers a robust rewards package which includes a competitive salary; a broad benefits bundle including a 403(b) plan; a highly regarded tuition assistance program for dependent children (K-12 grade); professional development, and an unmatched focus on excellence.

WMKO is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Jeannette Mundon