Job Listings

Research Technologist II

The University of Arizona
Job Location:
Tucson, Arizona
Laboratory and Research

Posting Number: req6831

Department: Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

Location: Main Campus

Address: Tucson, AZ USA

Position Highlights

Applicants are invited to apply for a Survey Operations Specialist II (Research Technologist II) position with the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), a leading NASA-funded near-Earth asteroid survey project. CSS utilizes telescope facilities at the Catalina and Mt. Lemmon observatory stations north of Tucson. Applicants must be self-motivated, comfortable working alone and within a small group, and be in good physical condition to work at the remote observatory environment at 9,200 ft. elevation.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; sick leave and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been recognized for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona and relocations services, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Conduct asteroid survey and follow-up observations using a variety of telescopes ranging from 0.7 to 2.3 meters in size. Operations Specialists are responsible for: the safe operation of the telescope, camera, and support computers; planning and conducting survey and follow-up near-Earth asteroid observations; efficient use of the available telescope time and software tools; timely reporting of results and archiving of the data. Must be able to independently make decisions based upon weather and observing conditions, and to effectively troubleshoot and respond to hardware and software anomalies.
  • This position requires an irregular and flexible work schedule. A typical workload consists of up to 12 nights at a telescope per lunation (29.5 day lunar cycle), usually divided into 3-4 shifts. Operations Specialists typically work alone during scheduled nights, but the ability to work effectively with other team members is essential. Staff are expected to stay on-site at the observatory during assigned shifts. Attendance at a monthly team meeting is also required.
  • Though principally a nighttime operations position, some daytime work may be required. The successful candidate will be expected to take a leading role in some aspect of the survey operations or engineering. Examples could include website development and maintenance, instrument design, IT-related tasks, weather monitoring, database administration, or coding software tools or data analysis pipelines.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent advanced learning attained through professional level experience required.
  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience.
  • Must have experience using telescopes, Linux OS computers and digital detectors (CCD or CMOS). Experience at any type of observatory (academic, public or private) will be evaluated.
  • Valid AZ drivers' license. Operations Specialists are expected to drive their own vehicles to the observatory sites; 4WD vehicles are necessary in the winter months. Mileage is compensated.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience or familiarity with one or more of the following: celestial coordinate systems, astronomical surveys, astronomical data reduction, orbital dynamics, asteroid populations, software development, optical design, electronics, computer and/or database administration, or instrument commissioning.
  • Experience with long-term nighttime shift work at an astronomical observatory.
  • Significant experience working in an observatory environment, particularly with nighttime operations, may substitute for academic experience.

FLSA: Exempt

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Number of Hours Worked per Week: 40

Job FTE: 1.0

Work Calendar: Fiscal

Job Category: Research

Benefits Eligible: Yes - Full Benefits

Rate of Pay: DOE

Compensation Type: salary at 1.0 full-time equivalency (FTE)



Career Stream and Level


Job Family

Research & Lab

Job Function


Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Number of Vacancies: 1

Contact Information for Candidates

Eric Christensen

Open Until Filled: Yes

Documents Needed to Apply: Resume and Cover Letter

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution and a Native American/Alaska Native-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

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