Communications Specialist

Job Summary

Scientific / Technical Staff
American Astronomical Society
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

POSITION: Communications Specialist                                            REPORTS TO: Communications Manager


Starting Salary: $70,000 - $75,000


The American Astronomical Society (AAS) seeks a talented and experienced science communicator to help the Society deliver high-impact scientific results and communications to the astronomical community. The primary roles of the Communications Specialist are to manage AAS Nova and assist with the AAS Press Operations and thereby to identify and maximize the exposure of recent astronomical research results, aiding in their dissemination to the astronomical community, the media, and the public. The Communications Specialist will work closely with the Communications Manager to produce the online publication AAS Nova and to organize and host press conferences at scientific meetings. In addition, the Communications Specialist will work with the rest of the AAS staff to improve and enhance communications with AAS members and other stakeholders. Applications for this position are now open.


Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  1. Manage AAS Nova by:
    1. Producing 2 to 3 pithy, compelling, 300- to 500-word highlights each week to quickly convey important new astronomical findings to researchers and journalists, and promoting them via social media, tip sheets, member communications, and/or other avenues as appropriate in collaboration/consultation with the AAS Communications Manager.
    2. Producing additional regular content for AAS Nova such as Featured Images, Journals Digest posts, and posts about recent AAS Publishing news.
    3. Working with the Communications Manager to solicit and track recommendations from the AAS journal editors to identify the best journal articles to highlight.
    4. Tracking readership and coverage of highlighted articles in the news media and providing feedback to Communications and Publishing teams via suitable metrics.
    5. Coordinating and communicating with AAS team members (particularly Communications and Publishing), authors, journal editors, and institutional public information officers to ensure appropriate timing of highlight coverage.
    6. Managing and monitoring the AAS Nova social media accounts.
    7. Working with the student group Astrobites to cross-post content on AAS Nova and organizing Astrobites live-blogging coverage of AAS semiannual meetings.
  2. Assist with AAS Press Operations by:
    1. Aiding the Communications Manager in organizing and hosting press conferences at semiannual AAS meetings on topics selected from submitted abstracts.
    2. Helping to monitor AAS-press-related communications channels to ensure timely responses to media queries and requests for referrals to experts.
    3. Assisting the Communications Manager as needed in other press and media-relations duties, such as writing/editing press releases about AAS prizes and policy statements, disseminating press releases via the AAS website and @AAS_Press Twitter account, and approving journalists’ access to the AAS journals via EurekAlert.
  3. Work with the rest of the AAS staff to produce, edit, and maintain scientific content on the AAS website and related online resources, and in AAS communications to membership and the broader community, and perform other duties as assigned.




  • Advanced degree in physical sciences required, PhD in the astronomical sciences preferred.
  • Minimum 2–3 years’ experience in science writing for knowledgeable enthusiasts in trade or popular press, and/or a professional qualification in science journalism.
  • Ability to absorb complex material, synthesize information, and write short articles that concisely reflect key points of the material to a target audience; keen eye for detail and accuracy; knowledge of and experience with AAS journals preferred.
  • Experience working with graphics and in multimedia science communications, including online, audio, and/or video.
  • Ability to present oral reports to groups of experts as well as speak to mixed audiences on technical subjects.
  • Strong interpersonal and team-working skills to ensure timely communication with the AAS team, journal editors, scientists, institutional public-information officers, and journalists.
  • Efficient time management with an excellent ability to manage competing priorities and ability to execute responsibilities with minimal supervision and oversight.
  • Good working knowledge of, and/or ability to quickly master, tools such as Microsoft 365, Adobe Creative Suite, WordPress, and Drupal, as well as common social media platforms.


Review of applications for the Communications Specialist position will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.


To apply for this position, please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected]. Questions about the position, application requirements, and the search process should be directed to Susanna Kohler at [email protected].

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2021 Apr 30
Application Deadline
2021 Jun 30


Susanna Kohler