Public Program Telescopes 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 Telescopes Manger (TM). The TM is a member of Lowell’s public outreach team and reports to the Public Program Operations Manager. The TM works with and manages a team of roughly 8-10 Telescope Specialists. This is both an operational and a management position.  The person in the TM role will have a passion for observational astronomy, a deep knowledge of the workings of telescopes, and a talent to teach others these skills so that we may continue to offer our visitors the thrill of viewing planetary and deep sky targets through our suite of new and historical telescopes on Mars Hill.


The TM is responsible for managing the delivery of public stargazing experiences using a variety of telescopes around the Lowell campus, including six at the Giovale Open Deck Observatory, the Clark refractor, the Brian Dyer telescope, the Pluto astrograph, and several portable telescopes. The TM will manage all telescopes personnel and will organize telescope shift supervision with the Senior Telescope Specialists. The TM will supervise the Telescope Specialists in delivery of these stargazing experiences and work with the Senior Telescope Specialists to train the staff in general solar viewing and stargazing and each of the various specialized areas (including astrophotography, and basic technical troubleshooting); the TM should be willing and able to personally deliver these experiences if needed.

Key responsibilities of the TM include:

  • Management of Senior Telescope Specialists and Telescope Specialists, including training, mentoring, regular check-ins, and performance management
  • Schedule the Telescope Specialists to ensure all solar and stargazing shifts are covered during regular visitor hours.  Schedule Telescope Specialists as needed for special or offsite programs
  • Supervise onboarding and training of Telescope Specialists
  • In collaboration with the Content group, ensure that information presented to the public is current and accurate
  • Maintain familiarity with the maintenance and operation of all telescopes used for public stargazing, and work with technical support staff to keep them in good working order
  • Provide overall supervision during regular visitor hours as needed
  • Coordinate program schedules and coverage with other public program managers
  • Conflict resolution as needs arise
  • Regularly deliver stargazing experiences and engage in general interactions with guests as needed
  • Other duties as assigned

The TM 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 this position.

  • A bachelor’s degree in astronomy, planetary science, or closely related field is required. Demonstrated equivalent experience may be used to satisfy this requirement.
  • Minimum of 3 years of personnel management; demonstrated ability to train, mentor, develop, evaluate, and provide progressive discipline (as needed) for direct reports
  • Demonstrated experience with a variety of telescope and mount types, including set up, alignment, and target-finding.  Experience in telescope repair will be considered a plus
  • Prior experience in solar observing and/or astrophotography will be considered a plus
  • Excellent communication (written and oral) and interpersonal skills
  • Comfort with and demonstrated ability to speak effectively with large and/or diverse groups of guests with wide ranges of ages, backgrounds, and knowledge bases
  • Familiarity with the night sky/constellations, general astronomy, and science center or planetarium operations are strongly preferred
  • Ability to occasionally work evenings and/or on weekends

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Type
Compensation Range
$55,000USD to $70,000USD
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 (
• 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