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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0067
Post Date 4/4/2017
Title Telescope/AO Scientist
City Hilo
State HI
Description Gemini has an opening for a Telescope / Adaptive Optics (AO) scientist at Gemini North, based in Hilo, Hawaii. We are searching for an astronomer with a strong interest in telescope systems and adaptive optics (AO). The Telescope / AO scientist will play a crucial role in the support and upgrades of Gemini's AO science operations at the Gemini North telescope as well as participating in Gemini's on-going AO development program at both Gemini North and Gemini South. The Telescope / AO scientist will also participate in analysis of telescope and instrument performance, operational improvements, and upgrades as part of the Technology Development Department at Gemini. As such, intermittent travel between the two Gemini sites will be required.

The successful candidate will have up to 20% of their time available for personal research in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, or adaptive optics.

Adaptive optics is a key capability of science operations and development at the Gemini Observatory. The current adaptive optics facilities include the GeMS Multi-conjugate LGS adaptive optics system at Gemini South, and the ALTAIR (NGS and LGS) system at Gemini North, as well as the GPI, the Gemini Planet Imager. Understanding the limitations and opportunities presented by the telescope and instrumentation on the science performance of the system will be a major duty of this position, along with identifying and implementing improvements and optimizations where possible. A number of upgrades are planned and in progress on both telescopes and AO systems and the Telescope / AO scientist will be heavily involved in this upgrade program.

A preference will be given to astronomers with experience and expertise in both telescope systems and Adaptive Optics, astronomers with experience in either area who are interested to gain experience in the other are also encouraged to apply.
Requirements Requirements

Ph.D. in astronomy, physics or related discipline, or advanced engineering degree in a related discipline (optics, control, electronics).

Substantial experience and/or knowledge of modern astronomical telescope systems and/or adaptive optics is a must.

Must be proficient with PC and Linux computer systems, programming in scientific-oriented languages, and analysis of astronomical science data and AO telemetry data.

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.

Experience using and operating Adaptive Optics systems at a large research telescope is strongly desired.

Must be safety conscious; possess or be able to obtain a valid passport; willing and able to travel internationally; and have clean driving record, valid driver's license, and ability to drive 4WD vehicle.


Participates in characterization, optimization, and improvements to the Gemini telescopes, instruments, and AO systems.
20% of time to personal research in the field of astronomy or adaptive optics

Applications received by 30-April will receive full consideration. Position open until filled.
  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
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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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