Volunteer Manager

Job Summary

Outreach / Education Staff
Lowell Observatory
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)

Flagstaff, AZ
United States

Job Description

Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1894 with a mission to perform basic research in astronomy and to share that research with the public.  Lowell has a vibrant public outreach program, with 100,000 visitors annually to our campus.  We are finishing the 40,000 sq ft Marley Foundation Astronomy Discovery Center, opening November 2024, which will increase our visitor capacity significantly, and includes two galleries, a stunning wrap-around Lowell Universe Theater, and a breathtaking roof-top Dark Sky Planetarium.  The Discovery Center will serve as a destination for locals and visitors from across the country and the world.

Lowell Observatory seeks applications for the position of Volunteer Manager (VM). The VM is a member of Lowell’s public outreach team and reports to the Public Program Operations Manager. The VM works primarily with the other public program managers to integrate volunteers into the operation of the public outreach programs.  The VM will work occasionally with managers in other departments to direct volunteers to their program.  The VM will take a lead role in creating a volunteer program that meets the Observatory’s operational and programmatic needs, while ensuring a rewarding experience for volunteers.  The VM will supervise the corps of volunteers, estimated to be between 20 and 50 individuals.


The VM is responsible for developing, maintaining, and overseeing a volunteer program at Lowell Observatory, with the primary focus being volunteers within the outreach department. Volunteers assist in the work of the Observatory at a wide range of venues, including all amenities shared with the Observatory’s public.

Key responsibilities of the VM are:

  • Manage ongoing recruiting, advertising, and promoting of the volunteer program
  • Collect volunteer applications, evaluate candidates for a match between potential volunteer desires and observatory needs
  • Lead onboarding and training of new volunteers, in collaboration with appropriate staff
  • Develop policies and procedures for the volunteer program, with HR staff
  • In coordination with the other public program managers, develop and maintain the public program volunteer schedule, including assignments during all regular visitor hours as well as any needed assistance for special or offsite events
  • Maintain volunteer personnel files and track volunteer hours for annual reporting and milestone awards
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for the volunteers in the outreach programs for questions, technical help, and volunteer hour verification
  • Provide periodic feedback to volunteers
  • Manage volunteer performance and personnel issues, in collaboration with appropriate staff
  • Lead the development and implementation of recognition events and milestones for volunteers
  • Other duties as assigned

The VM may occasionally be called upon to provide overall supervision of public program operations during some visitor hours (though this responsibility will normally be performed by the other managers in the outreach department). The VM should therefore maintain general familiarity with the content of all regular visitor programs and amenities, as well as the various special programs for tours, school groups, and at offsite events.  The VM will work on an ongoing basis with other public program managers to ensure that all programs run smoothly and must be willing and able to provide direct support if needed. Such tasks may include, but are not limited to, logistical support in the Astronomy Discovery Center, crowd and traffic management on busy evenings, snow removal from critical guest areas, and other duties as needed to deliver our programs.


It is not necessary to meet 100% of these qualifications to be considered for the position.

  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral) and interpersonal skills
  • Prior significant experience in coordinating a volunteer program or a group of volunteers
  • Prior management experience, to include scheduling, mentoring, and performance management
  • Ability to occasionally work evenings and/or on weekends
  • Familiarity with the night sky/constellations, general astronomy, and science center or planetarium operations are strongly preferred
  • Prior experience setting up and administering a course of training

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Type
Compensation Range
$65,000USD to $75,000USD
Included Benefits

In addition to 11 scheduled paid holidays, Lowell Observatory offers a Flexible Paid Time Off policy for all full-time, benefit eligible employees which allows you to determine how much time you need to rest and enjoy yourself outside of work.  The cost of premiums for medical, life & long term disability insurances for benefit eligible employees is 100% paid by the company. Up to a 5% match on retirement contributions after 6 months of employment.

Application Details

Application Instructions
Please send the following documents to [email protected]
• Lowell Application (www.lowell.edu/careers)
• Resume
• Letter of interest addressing your qualifications
• Phone numbers and e-mail addresses of three professional references
Publication Start Date
2024 Apr 11
Application Deadline
2024 Apr 21


Catie Blazek