UX Developer

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
Archive Date: 
Friday, March 29, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

About Us:

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is an 8-meter telescope being built in Chile and operated out of the Tucson, Arizona headquarters. The Education and Public Outreach group is a small, interdisciplinary team of astronomers, writers, designers, and developers building data visualizations for students and the general public. Our goal is to make LSST data, astronomy, and science interesting and accessible to a broad audience.

As a member of our team, you would have the opportunity to work on:

  • Building web-based interactive visualizations for use in classrooms and by the general public

You will also have the opportunity to work on:

  • Developing the foundations of the public website for LSST
  • Helping to plan and execute LSST’s long-term public outreach priorities
  • Translating data into static and interactive graphics
  • Helping to define the overall look and feel of our public-facing materials


There are a few challenges in presenting LSST science to different types of audiences. Historically, design thinking has not been incorporated in science education development or presenting scientific data, which has made it less accessible to non-specialists. We aim to change this. As a result, you will be working with team members from a variety of professional backgrounds. This role requires more team collaboration, effective communication, and empathy with people's experience and processes than at your typical startup or corporation.

About you:

This role is fluid by design. A strong candidate would bring initiative and ownership to the development of our products. In fact, we will be especially enthusiastic about candidates with multifaceted skill sets. If you’re a design-focused thinker who could lead the conversation on UX, a strong data visualization developer, or a great visual designer with some front-end chops, we would love to meet you. Here are some qualities that could make a great candidate:

  • 3-5 years of professional software development experience with front-end web development (JavaScript, HTML, CSS)
  • Experience building visualizations with data using D3 and Three.js
  • UX chops and a general ability to design for humans, as well as an ability to effectively communicate UX
  • Experience working and prototyping with Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, Figma, or Webflow
  • Experience with git and GitHub. We’re open source
  • Interest in science and online education
  • If you know astronomy, great, if not you’re our target demographic!

Don’t stress the details. Above all we are looking for someone enthusiastic with a desire to learn and experiment.

The position is expected to last through construction (concluding late 2022) with the opportunity for  extension. Our preference is for this position to be based in Tucson for at least the first year. There is opportunity for flexible hours and part-time working arrangements.

Application review will begin immediately and be ongoing through April, 30, 2019 or until the position is filled.

Submission materials: Please include a CV or resume, a cover letter, and a link to your portfolio or GitHub. Also, please list 3 professional references who will only be contacted during the late stages of the interview process. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to employment@aura-astronomy.org

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and 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 (LSST) and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope.

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 and all of the centers, do 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.

Preference granted to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O'odham reservation.

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at employment@aura-astronomy.org

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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AURA Human Resources
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