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Job Details

Requisition Number 18-0050
Post Date 4/12/2018
Title Desktop Support Specialist
City Boulder
State CO

The National Solar Observatory (NSO) invites applications for a full-time Desktop Support Specialist. The position will be responsible for supporting the endpoint and desktop infrastructure of the National Solar Observatory (NSO) located in Boulder, CO. This position's primary responsibilities include first line support of NSO staff desktop systems (Linux, Mac, Windows), troubleshooting computer system issues and diagnose system performance. This position will also serve as the first point of contact for NSO staff seeking technical assistance and resolve technical problems with Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), Audio/Visual teleconference equipment and other systems. The Desktop Support Specialist will operate and maintain computer systems that support one or more of the following applications: scientific research, instrument engineering, project data storage and distribution, management and administrative functions, and electronic communication and document generation.

Essential Functions:

  • Perform a wide range of duties including frequent end-user communication and support.
  • Ask customers targeted questions to quickly understand the root of the problem by listening carefully (understand the problem from the end-user perspective) and address their concerns to deliver resolutions quickly and efficiently.
  • Analyzes, builds, supports, and maintains hardware, software, and peripheral devices, including laptops, workstations and printers.
  • roubleshoots software including email clients, Office software, network monitoring tools and system performance tools.
  • Manages and administers all NSO audio visual systems supporting video conference calls, utilizing tools such as Zoom, WebEx or other.
  • Research, identify, diagnose, and troubleshoot technical issues, including account setup, network configuration and configuring operating systems.
  • Communicates with project managers, fellow system administrators and the user community regarding computer systems support requirements and solutions.
  • Analyzes and evaluates computer systems performance, diagnoses problems, evaluates hardware and operating system function and performance, as required.
  • Designs, develops, and maintains user documentation, system procedures, and operator instructions.
  • Performs system configuration, administration, and maintenance.
  • Recommends networking software and hardware enhancements.
  • Performs both preventative (patching, updates) and emergency systems maintenance (failed desktop)
  • Two or more years of work experience as a Technical Support Engineer, Desktop Support Engineer, IT Help Desk Technician, or similar role.
  • Two or more years with hands-on experience in: Multiple OS platforms with strong emphasis on Linux (CentOS, Red Hat, Ubuntu), Mac OS X, and some Windows systems.
  • Strong analytical ability with skills in problem avoidance and diagnosis .
  • Utilize excellent customer service skills and exceed customers’ expectations.
  • Disciplined approach to work activities, ability to define and implement procedures.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to function in a distributed and dynamic work environment.
  • Attention to details and commitment to achieving high quality results.
  • Basic level knowledge of data communications networking, both wired and wireless.
  • Commitment to stay abreast of current-market hardware and software products used in Information Technology.
  • Maintains a can-do attitude, is a self-starter, proactive, strategic thinker, team player, quality focused, and pays attention to detail

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s (4-year) degree, preferred with a technical major, such as engineering or computer science, or a 2-year associate degree in computer information technology with 2 years of progressive hands-on experience.
  • Experience with:
  • Telecommunications and videoconferencing systems.
  • Web servers and sites
  • Astronomy, physics applications/computing.
  • OS-level scripting environment, such as Bourne shell.
  • Working in a research environment that relies extensively on Open Source solutions.
  • Participating in hardware cost projections and writing purchase requests.

Applicants are requested to submit a resume or CV, a list of 3 professional references, and a cover letter describing how their skills and experience are matched to the essential functions of the position (PDF Files preferred). Please name any attachments with the following format: 18-0050lastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) manages several astronomical observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory and the Gemini Observatory) and construction projects (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and Daniel. K. Inouye Solar Telescope) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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