Jobs & Volunteering

Public Affairs Specialist 1 (McDonald Observatory, TX)

Purpose: Supports and advances the education and public outreach mission of the McDonald Observatory and the University of Texas. Conducts evening star parties, special viewing nights, guided tours and solar viewing programs for public and private groups for the Frank Bash Visitors Center.

Essential Functions: Conducts evening star parties, special viewing nights, guided tours and solar viewing programs for public and private groups. Relates with visitors in a positive manner. Implements live theater and classroom public programs. Updates news releases in exhibit hall on a monthly basis and assists with maintaining the exhibits. Assists visitors at the information desk when necessary, and greets visitors upon arrival to the Observatory. Performs janitorial duties when necessary. Distributes updated informational materials to area businesses. Assists in routine maintenance of telescope equipment and domes. Follows established guidelines for safety and proper use of computer-controlled telescopes. Maintains equipment in HET gallery. Assists with the StarDate Cafe when needed. Participates in a cross-functional team and works cooperatively with other staff members towards completion of projects. Assists in handling media visits. Conducts VIP programs.

To view a complete job description and application instructions visit:
http://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/151022018679

For more information about the McDonald Observatory visit:
http://www.as.utexas.edu/mcdonald/mcdonald.html

 

Research Engineering / Scientist Associate I - Telescope Operator (Hobby-Eberly Telescope, McDonald Observatory, TX)

Purpose: To operate the Hobby-Eberly Telescope facility 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 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 engineering goals. Keep accurate, professional and clear night report. Contribute to a productive and efficient working environment. Support Night Time Operations - Attend general and operations staff meetings (usually during the day); communicate with outgoing Telescope Operator before shift; work with other Telescope Operators, supervisor, and the administrative associate to keep an up-to-date work schedule; and work on projects to support Operations (sometimes during the day). Support Day Time Operations - Provide Ops Engineering and review and comment on changes to facility operations. Other duties - Keep accurate and updated time sheets and complete required training and paperwork.

To view a complete job description and application instructions visit:
http://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/160513014211

For more information about the McDonald Observatory visit:
http://www.as.utexas.edu/mcdonald/mcdonald.html

 

Assistant Director - Assistant Director for Education and Outreach

The McDonald Observatory is seeking an Assistant Director for Education & Outreach to strategically manage education programs and promote astronomy to the general public, K-12 students, and educators to increase awareness of the universe and encourage further exploration to advance the research and educational mission of the McDonald Observatory and the University of Texas at Austin.

Minimum qualifications include a Bachelor's Degree. Seven years relevant experience in management and supervision, direct fundraising, fund development, business and financial administration, and/or communications outreach and public relations. Excellent professional demeanor. Strong grants writing experience (includes involvement from research to concept to submission, budget writing and management). Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communications skills. Demonstrated ability to think strategically and creatively, work well under pressure and effectively manage concurrent projects. Active experience providing leadership to a team and the ability to work effectively in a collegial, team-oriented unit. Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to higher education. Willing to travel, work occasional nights/weekend events as required. Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

To view a complete job description and application instructions visit:
http://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/160531010395

For more information about the McDonald Observatory visit:
http://www.as.utexas.edu/mcdonald/mcdonald.html

The University of Texas at Austin is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

 

Groundskeeper/Maintenance Worker I

The McDonald Observatory is seeking a groundskeeper & general maintenance/custodial worker.

Minimum qualifications are high school graduation or GED. One year of experience related to the job functions. Class B CDL School Bus drivers license required or must have the credentials and ability to obtain a license within six months from date of hire. Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

To view a complete job description and application instructions visit:
http://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/160330015290

For more information about the McDonald Observatory visit:
http://www.as.utexas.edu/mcdonald/mcdonald.html

The University of Texas at Austin is 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