DEcam Image Processing Intern

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Archive Date: 
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of 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 Gemini Observatory, the National Optical Astronomical Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope

We are currently seeking a DEcam Image Processing Intern for the National Science Foundation funded operations. The position is located at the Gemini North (GN) Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii. The DEcam Image Processing Intern will assist in the creation of fully calibrated, science-ready image stacks from unprocessed Dark Energy Camera frames. The processing will be carried out on the Gemini computing infrastructure, and will enable several research projects to move forward upon completion.

Essential Functions:

  • Become familiar with pre-written python scripts which will be used to process and calibrate the DECam images.
  • Become familiar with the Astromatic software package that is called by the python scripts.
  • Organize the data workflow on the Gemini computing infrastructure.
  • Use the python scripts to perform astrometric, and photometric calibration of the images.
  • Perform image alignment and stacking to produce high quality, science-ready images.
  • Perform source detection and PSF/aperture photometry to create large source catalogues that are ready for analysis.
  • Assess the images for data quality, including artificial star experiments.

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Minimum High School Diploma.
  • Must be currently enrolled in an accredited physics or astronomy degree program.
  • Experience with Python scripting.
  • Experience with Source Extractor, SCAMP, SWARP, and PSFEx software is highly valued, but not necessary.
  • Effective technical writing and public speaking communication skills.
  • Advanced computer literacy.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms and stoop; kneel; crouch; or crawl.
  • The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
  • Must possess - sufficient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to a) reach upward, sideways, downward to work with paper files; b) sufficient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems, fax machines, copiers, and other office machines.
  • Must possess – 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job; 2) sufficient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eye glasses; 3) sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, fire alarms, or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 4) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately.

Please list 3 professional references in your application and attach a cover letter & CV or resume in pdf format.  Questions should be directed to Dr. Matthew Taylor at

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

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. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential. 

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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