Jobs & Volunteering



Employment Opportunities

 

StarDate Cafe hourly shift-work

The Café is seeking part-time hourly staff to help with our busy summer season. To inquire, call 432-426-3644.


Stores Clerk I - Frank N. Bash Visitors Center - McDonald Observatory

Purpose: Greet visitors clearly and with professionalism at McDonald Observatory to help create a good impression that will have a long lasting impact. Provides general information about McDonald Observatory, available programs, and gift shop merchandise. Answers phones and directs calls.

Essential Functions: Works in the McDonald Observatory gift shop and helps inspire visitors about astronomy. Operates cash register and keeps an accurate till. Stocks gift shop to proper levels. Keeps gift shop clean and organized, including dusting, vacuuming, picking up trash, and keeping displays full and neat. Assists in receiving, checking, labeling, and storing of merchandise. Inspects and records merchandise shipments, and reports damages and shortages. Maintains gift shop storerooms, including folding shirts and maintaining merchandise levels. Helps maintain inventory list stored in each storeroom. Creates monthly window displays featuring merchandise, including the set up, rotating of merchandise, and the break down. Assist in the gift shop's website presence, including photographing new merchandise and other necessary merchandise to be uploaded to the on-line store periodically during the year. Use spreadsheets and point of sale systems. Fills phone, mail or web orders, pull items, and ring up sale, package for shipping, produce UPS or US Mail label. Maintain files for shipping orders and monthly reports. Ships brochure packages for programs and teacher info packets for education. Backs-up the Information Desk during absence of assigned personnel. Serves as the initial contact for the Visitor Center. Sells program passes and provides directions and instructions to help create a good experience for the visitor. Answers the main phone, disperses calls to appropriate people, or takes accurate messages and forward to the appropriate person for handling. Operates audio-visual equipment for theater, and open and closes exhibits. Participates in a cross-functional team and works cooperatively with other staff members towards completion of projects.

See full job posting at: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/180706016454


Maintenance Worker - McDonald Observatory

Purpose: To perform fire prevention tasks, grounds-keeping, equipment maintenance, and repair at the McDonald Observatory site near Ft. Davis.

Essential Functions: Fire prevention measures at the observatory including trimming and removal of trees using the appropriate equipment such as a pruners, shears, handsaw, chainsaw, axe, etc. Performs various types of semi-skilled labor in support of fire prevention and suppression of wildland fires and structure fires, cuts and removes brush from roadsides, fire roads, and fuel breaks using hand and power tools. Maintains the observatory grounds including around the facilities and on-site housing as needed. This includes trash and litter disposal, mowing grass, operating string trimmers, vacuuming leaf blowers, and other related ground maintenance tasks. Provides preventative maintenance and repair to equipment used in grounds-keeping. Works weekend duty as needed or scheduled to back fill other positions during staff vacations and sick leave to assist in general building cleaning, such as cleaning restrooms, maintaining floors, and other routine custodial duties. Maintains a clean and safe workplace and performs all duties in accordance with established safety procedures. Ensures that all tools, equipment and vehicles are maintained in a clean and orderly fashion. Maintains a Class C Drivers License. Drives a UT vehicle within the McDonald Observatory facility to respond to calls and provide services to the multiple facilities. Maintains a professional customer-service demeanor and appearance according to UT McDonald Physical Plant dress code. Wears applicable personal protective gear as appropriate. Assists with special events including delivering and moving furniture, equipment, and materials. Participates in the set up and break down of tables, chairs, and trash receptacles, and stocks supplies as necessary. Participates in the Emergency Response Team for the Observatory as necessary. Required to take fire fighting training, first aid, and CPR.

See full job posting at: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/180706015290


Research Engineering / Scientist Associate I / Telescope Operator - Hobby*Eberly Telescope - McDonald Observatory (POSITION 1)

Purpose: Operate the Hobby-Eberly Telescope facility, a 10+ meter class telescope, in a safe and efficient manner at the behest of the resident astronomer and any visiting engineers. Much of the work will be from sunset to sunrise in front of a Linux/Unix computer console.

Essential Functions: Conduct night-time operations, sunset to sunrise, at the behest of the resident astronomer or visiting staff. Operate facility including mirror alignment, setup and maintain setup on science targets, prevent and recover from problems, monitor weather and facility conditions, and coordinate with resident astronomer and engineers to efficiently complete observational/engineering goals. Keep accurate, professional and clear night report. Contribute to a productive and efficient working environment. Support night time operations, including attending general and operations staff meetings (usually during the day); communicating with outgoing telescope operator before shift; working with other telescope operators, supervisor, and the administrative associate to keep an up-to-date work schedule; and working on projects to support operations (sometimes during the day). Projects may include theoretical work, documentation, hardware and/or software projects depending on the candidate's skill set. Support day time operations, including providing ops engineering and review and comment on changes to facility operations. Keep accurate and updated time sheets and complete required training and paperwork.

See full job posting at: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/180706014216


Research Engineering / Scientist Associate I / Telescope Operator - Hobby*Eberly Telescope - McDonald Observatory (POSITION 2)

Purpose: Operate the Hobby-Eberly Telescope facility, a 10+ meter class telescope, in a safe and efficient manner at the behest of the resident astronomer and any visiting engineers. Much of the work will be from sunset to sunrise in front of a Linux/Unix computer console.

Essential Functions: Conduct night-time operations, sunset to sunrise, at the behest of the resident astronomer or visiting staff. Operate facility including mirror alignment, setup and maintain setup on science targets, prevent and recover from problems, monitor weather and facility conditions, and coordinate with resident astronomer and engineers to efficiently complete observational/engineering goals. Keep accurate, professional and clear night report. Contribute to a productive and efficient working environment. Support night time operations, including attending general and operations staff meetings (usually during the day); communicating with outgoing telescope operator before shift; working with other telescope operators, supervisor, and the administrative associate to keep an up-to-date work schedule; and working on projects to support operations (sometimes during the day). Projects may include theoretical work, documentation, hardware and/or software projects depending on the candidate's skill set. Support day time operations, including providing ops engineering and review and comment on changes to facility operations. Keep accurate and updated time sheets and complete required training and paperwork.

See full job posting at: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/180706014216

 


McDonald Observatory Physical Plant is recruiting summer hourly employees

Grounds and light maintenance duties.
Schedule: Monday – Friday
For more information contact Lisa Gandy @ 432-426-4148.
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


Volunteer Opportunities

The Public Observatory benefits greatly from volunteer support provided by area amateur astronomers. These individuals frequently bring their own telescopes to Star Parties in order to share striking views of the night sky with visitors to the Observatory.

On-site Amateur Astronomer Volunteers at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center
Are you an experienced amateur astronomer looking for an opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with the public? Do you have an RV or travel trailer and the freedom to spend several weeks (or more) at a remote dark-sky site.

The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory is looking for experienced amateur astronomers to serve as site-volunteers to support the Observatory's extensive public programs. The Observatory's Visitors Center plays host to approximately 60,000 visitors each year, many of whom participate in the Center's array of outreach activities. Site-volunteers will assist with both daytime and nighttime activities including guided tours, star parties, special viewing nights, and summer scout night programs as well as other special programs at other times of the year. In exchange for a four week (flexible), ≤ 20 hrs/wk (depending on time of year, up to 12 evening/night hours & up to 8 daytime hours) commitment and upon successful completion of the application process, the site-volunteer will be granted access to one of the Observatory's RV sites (full hook-ups, etc., provided.) Other restrictions apply. Background check required. Greatest needs are typically through the month of March with our Spring Break crowds and late May through August during traditional summer vacation months.

For more information, please contact Frank Cianciolo, Visitors Center manager (frankc @ utexas . edu (remove the spaces), 432-426-4152).

Additional Volunteer Opportunities

The Frank N. Bash Visitor Center at McDonald Observatory offers volunteer opportunities to individuals interested in astronomy and/or education. The greatest need for volunteers has been during our public star parties at busy times of the year. We have several telescopes that we use for our public programs including a 16" Meade LX200, 22" Classical Cassegrain, 22" Dobsonian and several Celestron and Meade 8" Schmidt Cassegrains. Training is provided. If you would like more information please contact the Visitors Center through the Volunteer Coordinator or call us at 432-426-3640 and ask for Shannon Rudine.

See also: Outreach volunteer opportunities in Austin

 

Visitors enjoying a star party at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center at McDonald

Star Party