Jobs & Volunteering

HET Optomechanical Engineer - McDonald Observatory

Job Description: Responsible for maintaining all optics on the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and managing activities in the HET optic lab including maintaining the reflectivity of the primary mirror segments, operating and maintaining the mirror coating facility and serving as the supervisor for the HET optics team. This position works closely with colleagues at the HET and in Austin to design, build and maintain optomechanical tools and instrumentation as needed for the efficient operation of the HET.

This position is located at McDonald Observatory, 16 miles from Fort Davis, Texas (440 miles away from the UT Austin campus). The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is a 24/7 operation and you may be expected to work at all hours of the day or night, weekends, or holidays (when needed and within limits) to serve the scientifically needs of the Observatory and specifically the HET. Residence in the Observatory's residential community may be available and may be required. Position may be subject to “call-back” as an essential employee for emergency or critical response. Must be eligible to work in the US on a full-time basis for any employer without sponsorship.

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


Visitor Services Manager - Frank N. Bash Visitors Center

Job Description: Manage Visitor Services for the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center at McDonald Observatory. Create a welcoming and engaging environment enabling guests of all backgrounds and abilities to make personal connections with McDonald Observatory, astronomy, and discovery. Lead a team to manage visitor reservations, admissions, special event, and membership services. Develop, plan, and implement reservations systems and marketing plans for a robust menu of offerings. Closely monitor customer satisfaction data and inform efforts that foster visitor engagement and support the observatory’s education and outreach mission, increase audiences and members, and generate revenue.

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


Mechanic/Technician - McDonald Observatory

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


Optomechanical Engineering Associate, Observing Support - McDonald Observatory

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


Optomechanical Technician, Observing Support - McDonald Observatory

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


Part Time Worker - Frank N. Bash Visitors Center 

Expected start date: August
Pay rate: $11 -16/hour
Shifts: 10-18 hours per week

McDonald Observatory is looking for enthusiastic and friendly individuals to serve as Event Workers who will support our Visitors Center operations by sharing their curiosity, knowledge, and excitement about science with Observatory visitors of all ages. Primary duties include: 

  • interaction with all visitors in a positive and energetic manner,
  • helping with setup/breakdown of program equipment, supporting program facilitators,
  • checking in visitors for programs, ushering guests to seats,
  • selling program passes and memberships, assisting with sales in the Gift Shop,
  • and assisting with clean up and closing.

Interested parties with experience may also operate telescopes, present short talks, facilitate “Pop Up Lab” experiences for visitors, or present long-form visitor programs such as Solar Viewings and Guided Tours.

Qualifications

Previous cash handling and register experience; excellent verbal and written communication skills; proficiency with common computer software; ability to work well with others and with limited supervision; willingness to learn and take on new tasks; Bilingual a plus.

Schedule

Nights and weekends required. Up to 19 hours per week.

To apply for a part time position with the Visitors Center, upload a letter of interest including your day and evening schedule availability, previous work or volunteer experience, at least 3 references, and your email address and phone number. You may include your resume and references as attachments. Please include your last name in the document title (Example: JobLetter-Lastname.doc)


McDonald Observatory is part of The University of Texas at Austin. The Observatory and Visitors Center are located near Fort Davis, Texas. Positions are security sensitive; conviction verification conducted on applicant selected. McDonald Observatory and The University of Texas at Austin are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to diversity. 

HET in the morning