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AAVSO HQ Job Position: Astronomer

AAVSO Astronomer position
Exempt position reporting to the AAVSO Director.

The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) is looking for candidates for the position of Astronomer. The incumbent will be leading a team of 2-5 staff members who comprise the AAVSO Science team. Duties include, but are not limited to, coordinating volunteer teams and mentoring citizen astronomers, manage the AAVSO alerts and campaigns, oversee the data quality control process, oversee maintenance and enrichment of the AAVSO International Database and software, and supervise the maintenance of AAVSO networking and IT infrastructure. The goal of the position is for the astronomer to spend about 60% of their time on functional and managerial duties and the rest on a personal research agenda developed with input from the Director. However, the Specifics on time allocation may change based on needs of the organization at the time.

Specific skills and experience required:

  • PhD in astronomy or equivalent field is required, with at least two years of postdoctoral experience preferred;
  • Experience managing and mentoring individuals is strongly preferred;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of time-domain astronomy and related statistics and data analysis;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of photometric data reduction and analysis;
  • Knowledge and experience with astronomical databases and related infrastructures, knowledge of one or more modern programming languages, and the MySQL database system is required. Knowledge of Java, Python, Perl desirable;
  • Excellent written and oral English language communication skills, and a demonstrated track record of communicating science to the public or in the classroom; Must be comfortable and enthusiastic about communicating and working with amateur astronomers and the general public.
  • Ability and desire to work and collaborate with a mixed community of professional and amateur astronomers, volunteers, students and educators;
  • The AAVSO operates in a small office environment so interpersonal skills and the ability to maintain a positive attitude during tight deadlines are paramount;
  • A successful track record of grant writing experience, either individually or as a member of a team
  • Knowledge of spectroscopy and spectroscopic data analysis is desired;

This is an FLSA Exempt position. Full benefits, a flexible schedule and a 35-hour work week are included in the position. Some travel to conferences may be required. To apply, please submit a single PDF document including a Cover Letter, a Curriculum Vitae (including publication list and the names of 3 scientists who would be willing to provide letters of reference on your behalf) and an up to 2-page statement on why you are qualified for the position, to our email address: aavso@aavso.org Please include the words “AAVSO Astronomer” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin after Dec 15 and will continue until the position is filled. Please indicate whether you will be at the AAS January 2016 meeting and would be interested in an in-person meeting. No phone calls please.

The AAVSO is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484