Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) invites applications for a Network Scientist. LCO operates a globally distributed network of telescopes for scientific research and education. The capabilities of the LCO network are aimed at exploiting the time domain, and current areas of emphasis of our scientific program are supernovae, exoplanets, solar system objects, stellar astrophysics, and active galactic nuclei. LCO is a private, non-profit corporation, based in Santa Barbara, California.
The Network Scientist will be responsible for oversight and quality control of the scientific data and the scientific effectiveness of the network. Working with staff, as well as using automated processes, the Network Scientist will track and analyze the quality and quantity of data produced by the LCO network of telescopes, to ensure suitability of the data for scientific investigations. In addition, the Network Scientist may optionally devote up to 20% of their time to their own astronomical research. The successful candidate will be results-oriented, a strong communicator, have experience with observatory operations and management, and be familiar with the workings of telescopes, astronomical equipment and instrumentation. A demonstrated ability to understand complex issues that cross over multiple disciplines is essential.
- Oversee monitoring of the network using the following resources:
- The development of software tools, alerts and enhancements to the system to carry out effective monitoring and Quality Control.
- Oversight of monitoring efforts by others, including the Network Monitoring Team, a small globally distributed group of individuals.
- Ensure data produced by the network is of high quality
- Ensure data flow is maintained.
- Ensure pointing, focus, efficiency, calibration and other scientific aspects of network instruments are maintained.
- Ensure the network is operating at an optimum level.
- Participate as a core member of the Network Operations Team, which is responsible for assessing the urgency and importance of network problems. The team meets daily and is responsible for shepherding issues to resolution, as well as developing long-term strategies for network improvement.
- Work closely with the science, software, and engineering teams to understand and fix issues that arise.
- Collect, analyze and quantify trends in network faults. Develop and implement improvements in operations that increase the scientific yield and quality of the network.
- PhD in astronomy, physics, astrophysics or related field.
- Minimum 3 years experience with observatory operations and astronomical observations.
- Experience with astronomical data and expertise in tools for inspecting/analyzing astronomical data.
- Understanding of observatory metrics and how to utilize them.
- Ability to work effectively in a complex software environment, including the utilization of software tools (ie Java, C, Python, mysql, xml).
- Interested in and able to collaborate across multiple engineering disciplines, including mechanical, optical, electrical, astronomical instrumentation and systems.
- Ability to work with a small group of globally distributed technical support staff.
Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, publication list, brief description of relevant experience and research interests, and names of three professional references (all in a single PDF document) to firstname.lastname@example.org. The position will remain open until filled.
LCO offers an exceptional compensation package; a competitive salary, great vacation time, and generous benefits.
LCO is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. LCO is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our organization and the academic community.