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Job Details

Requisition Number 16-0352
Post Date 12/12/2016
Title Science Operations Specialist
City Hilo
State HI
Description The International Gemini Observatory is seeking a Science Operations Specialist at its Hawaii location. The Observatory operates two world-class, optical-infrared, 8m-class telescopes in Hawaii and in Chile. Gemini is managed as a partnership between the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, with participation of Korea and Australia. We are currently developing the Observatory into a leading facility for time domain astronomy, striving to be the best observatory in the world for the execution of flexible, innovative, and efficient science programs.

A Science Operations Specialist (SOS) is a member of the Science Operations team. An SOS performs a number of essential duties in science operations, including the following: operates the telescope, instruments and computer systems during night-time and day-time science and engineering use; performs queue observing and assists visiting and staff scientists and engineers in their use of telescope, instruments and computer systems when in non-queue mode; evaluates the quality of scientific data and provides operational, technical and archival support for data handling. The tasks fall in four main areas (1) Telescope operation, (2) Queue observing, (3) Daytime responsibilities not involving telescope operation and (4) Project Work.
Immediate applications encouraged. Please attach cover letter, resume and three references. Position will remain open until filled.
Requirements Job Specifications
Ability to understand the principles and functions of astronomical telescopes and instruments and observational data. Proficiency in operating observatory systems and instruments, including computer systems, software tools, communication systems, and facility systems (air handling units, dome enclosure etc.). Must be willing to work 6-8 nights per month on night-duty at the Hilo Base Facility Operations. Must be willing to work weekends and holidays as needed. Must possess organizational and communication skills as well as the ability to learn quickly. Must be fluent in English. Must be reliable, dependable, and flexible - excellent attendance and commitment to work scheduled shifts is necessary. Must be a self-learner and self-starter; requires above-average initiative. Requires outstanding judgment and ability to communicate firmly when issues of safety of personnel or the telescope are apparent. Ability to work productively in a multinational team. Competence degrees applicable to the Assistant Level are described in the document “SOS Member Job Description Principles”.

Education Required
A bachelor’s degree in physics, astronomy, computer science, engineering or related field is required. A master’s degree in aforementioned areas is preferred. At the discretion of the Associate Director of Science Operations, exceptional work experience may substitute for a science or engineering degree.

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.
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  • 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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