Gemini Science Operation Specialist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, May 10, 2019
Archive Date: 
Friday, June 7, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
La Serena
Job Announcement Text: 

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.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • 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.

Education & Experience Required

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.

Skills Required

  • 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 fluent in English, while command of the Spanish language is an advantage.
  • 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 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.

The Gemini South telescope is located at the summit of Cerro Pachón, at an altitude of about 2900m. The Base Facility is located in La Serena, which is a popular seaside town with a population of about 200,000, has a temperate climate, and a substantial international astronomical community. For full details and to apply online, please visit

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 June 7th, 2019.

For further information about the position please contact Ariel Lopez, Gemini-South Science Operation Specialist Group Manager ( Further information on Gemini can be found at

Included Benefits: 

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.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, June 9, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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