Jobs & Volunteering



Employment Opportunities

StarDate Cafe hourly shift-work

The Café is seeking part-time hourly staff. To inquire, call 432-426-3644.


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

Job Description:  Greets visitors and provides routine information about merchandise, programs and McDonald Observatory. Answers phones and directs calls.

Responsibilities:

  • Operates cash register. Stocks gift shop to proper levels. Cleans gift shop - dusting, vacuuming, upkeep of displays.
  • Assist in checking in labeling and storage of merchandise. Inspects and records shipments, reports damages or shortages. Maintains gift shop storerooms, folding shirts, merchandise levels. Helps maintain list of inventory stored in each storeroom.
  • Fills phone, mail or web orders, pull items, and ring up sale, package for shipping, produce UPS or US Mail label. Ships brochure packages for programs and other shipments as necessary for programs and education.
  • Sells program passes. Gives directions and instructions as initial contact for the Visitor Center. Answers the main phone, disperses calls to appropriate people or takes accurate messages and gives to appropriate person.
  • Operates AV equipment for theater, open and closes exhibits.
  • Participates in a cross-functional team and works cooperatively with other staff members towards completion of projects.

For more information on this position, please see the full job posting here.


Visitor Services Assistant I - Frank N. Bash Visitors Center at McDonald Observatory

Job Description: Serve as the visitor services representative to support the education and public outreach mission of the McDonald Observatory by coordinating reservations, admissions, and visitor activities at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center.

Responsibilities:

  • Greets and assists visitors, members, and groups upon arrival to the Observatory. Assists with responding to reservation questions via phone and email. Provides customer service and educational information to visitors.
  • Coordinates group sales and visits. Sell or collect admission tickets, passes, or memberships. Provide program and event information to visitors. Help solve customer concerns. Prepare operational reports or records. Assist in the receipt, disbursement, and accountability of funds and answering questions concerning policies and procedures. Prepare cashier booth for opening by securing cash from supervisor. Receives cash and checks, closes cashier booth and accounts for and turns in all monies and tickets received during a shift.
  • Assists with community activities and events on and offsite. Participates in a cross-functional team and works cooperatively with other staff members towards completion of projects. Assists with maintaining exhibits in the Visitors Center.
  • Assists with the StarDate Cafe and Gift Shop when needed. Assists with maintaining other telescope dome galleries. Performs janitorial duties as needed.

For more information on this position, please see the full job posting here.


Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers provide beneficial support to the Observatory and frequently bring their own telescopes to Star Parties to share striking views of the night sky with our visitors.

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.

McDonald Observatory is looking for experienced astronomy fans to serve as site-volunteers to support public programs. The Visitors Center see approximately 75,000 visitors each year. Volunteers assist with day and night programs including guided tours, star parties, special viewing nights, and scout nights. Access to one the Observatory's RV sites may be granted to approved volunteers able to commit to at least 20 hours/week of service. Background check required. Greatest needs are typically through the month of March and late May through August.

For more information, please contact Frank Cianciolo, Visitors Center manager (frankc@utexas.edu, 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 Volunteer Coordinator, Shannon Rudine, at 432-426-3640.

See also: Outreach volunteer opportunities in Austin

 

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

Star Party