Department:Department of Physics Appointment Type and Duration:Funding Contingent (Faculty, Research OAs), Ongoing Salary:$47,000 - $55,000 per year Compensation Band:OS-OA06-Fiscal Year 2018-2019 FTE:1.0
Application Review Begins September 5, 2018; position open until filled
Special Instructions to Applicants With your online application, please submit cover letter, resume, and thorough answers to the supplemental questions listed below.
1. Please describe your astronomical observing experience with special emphasis on your use of modern and antique telescopes for visual observing and electronic data gathering.
2. Please describe your experience planning, building, and maintaining modern telescopic and data acquisitions systems. These systems include everything from small solar telescopes to large aperture (~0.75 m) research grade instruments.
3. Please describe your experience maintaining a large research facility. Include details on grounds maintenance, small fabrications projects, and support of university level research projects.
Department Summary The Physics Department, an instructional/research department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon, provides oversight and conducts research and public outreach activities at Pine Mountain Observatory (PMO). Physics employs approximately 300 people, including 35 teaching faculty, emeritus faculty, research support staff, 95 GEs (doctoral students), undergraduate students, and 8 professional and administrative staff.
Pine Mountain is a fully integrated part of the Physics Department; it is operated as a remote laboratory. The observatory receives major academic support from multiple faculty members and administrators in the Physics Department.
The people affected by this position include the public, academics (instructional faculty and principal investigators), staff, undergraduate and graduate students.
The telescopes at the Pine Mountain Observatory provide research data year-round. They also are used for on-site observing for faculty, visiting researchers, students and the public during the March-September season.
PMO has recently installed a robotic telescope that can be controlled from the UO Campus in Eugene. This new capability offers our stakeholders remote observing opportunities for off-site astronomy related events.
Position Summary This position will provide technical expertise and logistical support to address facility maintenance and repair, support university research, education and public relations, and represent the university as liaison with various private and government agencies. The Head of Operations - Pine Mountain Observatory will work independently and make decisions regarding maintenance, security, safety, and use of funds. The primary purpose of this position is to maintain, upgrade, commission, and use the 4 telescopes at the observatory. Due to the complexity of the telescope systems, especially the new robotic telescope, we require a person with technical experience on-site at PMO.
Duties related to the telescopes include: • Troubleshooting and repairs. • Routine maintenance of various telescope and dome systems. These systems include precise optical systems, absolute encoder systems used for telescope pointing, motorized dome systems, and the various computer systems installed at PMO. • Leading the design and construction of telescope upgrades and enhancements. • Oversight of procurement of materials related to PMO day-to-day functionality. • Maintenance of all camera systems and instruments used on the PMO telescopes. These include scientific-grade CCD cameras, optical spectrometer systems, and high-end DSLR camera systems.
The telescopes at PMO are: • 32” used for outreach and research. Motorized and computer controlled. This is an Argos Navigation telescope control system. • 24” used for research, public outreach, astrophotography. Motorized and computer controlled. This is a Sidereal Technologies telescope control system. • 15” used for public outreach, student astronomy projects. Digital setting circles, manual operation to open for viewing. • 14” robotic. Used for remote observing from the UO Campus. New, housed in the Ken Robbins clamshell dome. This telescope uses the Astrophysics Control System for the mount and MaximDL for camera and supplemental system control.
This position also includes duties related to the operations of PMO. This person will assist PMO Executive Staff with the day-to-day operations of the observatory and will be responsible for logistical assistance to PMO Programs. This person will help coordinate student and volunteer programs at PMO.
Minimum Requirements • High school diploma or equivalent. • Two years experience working with technical astronomical systems (e.g. telescopes, camera systems). • One year experience working within a scientific research facility (e.g. an observatory). • Administration of Windows-based computer systems.
Preferred Qualifications • Experience working with optical systems including scientific equipment circa 1950. • Extensive optical astronomical observing/extensive knowledge of the optical sky.
All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background inquiry.
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