Telescope Operations Specialist

Job Summary

Scientific / Technical Staff
New Mexico State University
Astronomy / Apache Point Observatory
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

New Mexico State University (NMSU) is seeking a technical and computer-oriented individual for a position as a Telescope Operations Specialist. The position involves nighttime astronomical observation at Apache Point Observatory (APO) utilizing the 2.5m Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Telescope operated through New Mexico State University. APO is located in Sunspot, New Mexico (

Responsibilities include nightly operation of the SDSS 2.5m telescope and instruments, monitoring the data streams and system performance and observing efficiency. Nightly operations consist of setup, instrument preparation and calibration, telescope operations, service observing and operations with remote astronomers via the Internet. Works at telescope site, responsible for safety of site personnel and for the observatory during operational shift. Interprets, assesses, advises, and works closely with visiting scientists, engineers and technicians. Operates telescope and related computers, instruments and sub-systems. Performs regular maintenance and instrument changes and assists with special maintenance activities. May test functionality of newly installed software and assist in debugging.

We are looking for individuals with minimum education requirements including a Bachelors of Science degree in astronomy and/or related field with experience in astronomical observing with moderate-size modern telescopes and one (1) year of relevant experience. Relevant experience includes hands-on telescope operation (with attendant mechanical and computer expertise); Unix programming skills are desirable.

Paper/email documents will not be accepted. Required documents include a CV/Resume, three professional references, and unofficial copy of transcript(s); all required documents must be attached to the NMSU electronic application system at

Employment is contingent upon funding and eligibility for employment in U.S., as well as the results of a background verification. Target start date March 1, 2018. EEO/AA.

Compensation and Benefits

Included Benefits

Benefits: Group medical, hospital, life, dental, and disability insurance; State educational retirement, workers compensation, sick and annual leave, and unemployment compensation. See

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2017 Nov 03
Application Deadline
2017 Dec 01