The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and four international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of the NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute under contracts with NASA.
A Science Operations Specialist (SOS) position is available at Gemini South (La Serena, Chile). An SOS is a member of the Science Operations team and performs a number of essential duties in the Observatory’s operation. The tasks fall in four main areas: (1) Telescope operation, (2) Queue observing, (3) Daytime quality assessment, instrument calibration and software testing and (4) Project work: specialized work in line with observatory goals and mission; assigned by management. This position does not include personal research.
The Gemini South telescope is largely operated from the base facility in La Serena, but occasionally duties may take place at the summit of Cerro Pachón, at an altitude of about 2700m. La Serena is a popular seaside town with a population of about 200,000, has a temperate climate, and a substantial international astronomical community.
The SOS core job duties include the following:
- Operates the telescope, instruments and computer systems during night-time and day-time science and engineering use.
- Performs queue observing and assists visiting and staff scientists and engineers in their use of telescope, instruments and computer systems.
- Evaluates the quality of scientific data and provides operational, technical and archival support for data handling.
- Works independently on special projects aligned with Observatory goals.
- Is responsible for the safety of the personnel, telescope and instruments while working at night.
- Gemini Observatory offers a competitive compensation and benefits and relocation package, promotes continued education and career growth and cultivates a dynamic and diverse working environment.
- Must be willing to work weekends and holidays as needed. Schedule is subject to change and varies by person within the group based on their responsibilities.
- Must be prepared to work night shifts.
- Must be prepared to be responsible for the safety of people and equipment while working at night.
- Must possess organizational and communication skills as well as the ability to learn quickly. Must be fluent in English, while command of the Spanish language is an advantage.
- Must be reliable, dependable, and flexible - excellent attendance and commitment to work scheduled shifts is necessary.
- Must be a self-learner and self-starter; requires above-average initiative.
- Requires outstanding judgment and ability to communicate firmly when issues of safety of personnel or the telescope are apparent.
- Ability to work productively in a multinational team.
- A good working knowledge of PyRAF/IRAF, Python, and the Unix/Linux operating system is preferred.
- Requires a valid driver’s license, clean driving record and the ability to drive 4WD vehicles.
A Bachelor’s degree in physics, astronomy, computer science, engineering or closely related field is required; a Masters is preferred, particularly if it included observing experience.
All AURA employees are responsible for the proper management and control of all AURA property within their work area, whether assigned to them or someone else. This responsibility includes reporting any known missing, stolen, or non-working property in their work area to their supervisor or the AURA Property Officer. For detailed information on proper custodial care of government property, refer to the AURA Employee Handbook at http://hr.aura-astronomy.org/?q=handbook .
Responsible for ensuring compliance with government award terms and conditions assigned to this position or subordinates of this position as defined in the Vela Award Management system
AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at http://www.aura-astronomy.org/diversity.asp.
As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws.
How to Apply:
- Please, with the on-line application submit a Cover Letter and Resume, including 3 reference contact information, one of which must be from a supervisor.
- Application deadline: full consideration will be given to applications received by March 30th, 2020
- For further information about the position please contact Ariel Lopez, Gemini-South Science Operation Specialist Group Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org). Further information on Gemini can be found at http://www.gemini.edu/