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Telescope Ops Specialist

Please see Special Instructions for more details.

The electronic application is the *official* document that will be used to qualify applicants. Paper/email documents will not be accepted. Required documents must be attached to this application.

Department Contact

Department Contact Information

Applicants may contact this person if they have questions about this position

Department Contact Name Ofelia Ruiz
Department Contact Phone 646-1868
Department Contact Email

Posting Details

Posting Details

Requisition Number 1700344S
Classification Title Telescope Ops Specialist
Position Job Title Telescope Ops Specialist
College/Division Arts and Sciences College
Department 330300-Astronomy
Position Number 716850
Internal or External Search External - Open to all applicants
Appointment Full-time Equivalency 1.00
Reports To Position Title Associate Professor
Target Hourly/Salary Rate 48,000 - 52,000 Target Entry to Commensurate with Qualifications
Pay Level 09
Pay Base Salary
Recruitment Summary

New Mexico State University is a comprehensive land-grant institution of higher learning accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. An active research university, NMSU anchors the southern end of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Research Corridor, exceeding $140 million in research and public service expenditures. NMSU is classified as a Hispanic-serving institution by the federal government with a total minority enrollment over 48%. Home to the state’s NASA Space Grant Program, NMSU is located in Las Cruces, which features desert mesas, the farmlands of the Rio Grande Valley, and the Organ Mountains, an extension of the Rocky Mountain chain. The University is committed to building a cultural diverse educational environment.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

Responsibilities include daily operation of the Dunn Solar Telescope and instruments, monitoring the data streams and system performance and observing efficiency.
Assist with design and implementation of upgrades to telescope observing systems

Required Education

Bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Required Experience

One (1) year of experience related to the standard duties as outlined

Classification Summary

Works at telescope site, responsible for safety of site personnel and for the observatory during operational shift. Interprets, assesses, advises, and works closely with visiting scientists, engineers and technicians. Operates telescope and related computers, instruments and sub-systems. Performs regular maintenance and instrument changes and assists with special maintenance activities. May test functionality of newly installed software and assist in debugging.

Classification Standard Duties

Supervise, direct, delegate, and evaluate work of assigned staff. Assist in performing nightly quality assurance tests and data analysis of telescope instruments and acquire data. Operate facilities to acquire scientific data, under direction of Support Astronomers. Perform periodic engineering tests and procedures as instructed, Assist engineering staff to maintain and improve facilities. Participate in the interface with other project staff at different institutions regarding survey issues and progress. Perform related duties as required.


University and department policies and procedures; principles and practices of organization and administration; principles of supervision, training, and performance evaluation.


Short- and long-range planning; problem analysis and resolution; report preparation and presentation; public contact and relations; oral and written communication; technical; computer; telescope control systems and/or analysis of CCD images/ spectra.


Direct, evaluate, train, and supervise the work of assigned personnel; develop and maintain effective working relationships; maintain accurate and orderly records; use independent judgment and initiative; organize and direct activities; analyze and evaluate information; Understand and operate software on Mac and Linux based Operating Systems.

Equivalency Any equivalent combination of education, training and/or experience as approved by Human Resource Services.
Preferred Qualifications
Required Certification/License
Special Requirements

Physical work location is at an altitude of 9200ft

Other Departmental Requirements
Standard Work Schedule Shift: Other Shift
If not a Standard Work Schedule, please describe

M-F 7-3. Some early morning, late afternoon, weekend or holiday work may be required

Physical Work Location State NM-New Mexico
Physical Work Location County, if in New Mexico OT-Otero
Work Site Sunspot Solar Observatory, Sunspot, NM
Contingent Upon Funding Contingent upon external funds
Bargaining Unit Eligible Posting Announcement Statement This is NOT a bargaining unit position with American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
Tenure Track No
Posting Date 07/14/2017
Closing Date 08/31/2017
Anticipated Job Begin Date (optional) 10/02/2017
Anticipated Job End Date, if applicable (optional)
Open Until Filled No
Special Instructions to Applicants

The electronic application is the official document that will be used to qualify applicants. Paper/email documents will not be accepted. Required documents must be attached to this application.

Quicklink for Posting

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

Environment Work is normally performed indoors.
Physical Effort Light physical effort. Effort applies to no more than two (2) hours per day.
Lifting Requirements Requires handling of average-weight objects up to 25 pounds or standing and/or walking for more than four (4) hours per day.
Risk Work environment involves some exposure to hazards or physical risks, which require following basic safety precautions.

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Where did you become aware of this position opening?
    • NMSU Website
    • Las Cruces Sun News/El Paso Times
    • Albuquerque Journal
    • Chronicle of Higher Ed
    • New Mexico Department of Labor
    • Other (If other please answer next question)
  2. If you became aware of this posting from another source, please describe?

    (Open Ended Question)

  3. * Do you meet the minimum qualifications for this position? (Student and/or volunteer work does not count towards experience)
    • Yes, I have a High School/GED diploma plus five (5) years of experience
    • Yes, I have an Associate degree and three (3) years or more of experience
    • Yes, I have a Bachelors degree and one or more years of experience
    • Yes, I have a Masters degree or higher level of education
    • No, I do not meet the minimum qualifications for this position

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Resume/CV
Optional Documents
  1. Letter of Interest/Cover Letter
  2. Unofficial Transcripts (Undergraduate and Graduate Combined)