Position Classification Title: Observatory Astronomer
Position Classification Code: R5066
Job Family: Instruct/Research/Pub Srvc
Pay Level: 11
Exempt Status: Exempt
This description is intended to describe the general nature of the work being performed. It is not intended to be a complete list of specific duties of any particular position. Duties, responsibilities and bargaining unit eligibility may vary based on the specific tasks assigned to the position.
Purpose of Classification:
Astronomical expert who can provide educational guidance at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including conducting their own original research which serves as graduate training for students; telescope observatory oversight, operation, and maintenance
Standard Duties:
Oversee the improvement, development, and implementation of laboratory exercises conducted as part of the Department's offering of 100-level general education ("G') courses. This includes management of materials used in conducting the labs, and determination of resupply or new items as required. Management of the on-campus Tombaugh Observatory facilities for use in education and public outreach activities. Responsibilities include maintenance of the hardware (telescopes, domes, computers) including assessing when replacement of hardware is required. Hands-on ability to work with the hardware is necessary. Responsibility also includes training of graduate students and faculty in the proper use of the observatory facilities. Advise graduate students /Chair their committees in their thesis/dissertation research. Chairing requires the position holder to be eligible for and appointed to NMSU's Graduate Faculty. Advising responsibilities include developing the students' necessary skills, identifying appropriate research topics and coursework appropriate for preparation for that research, stipend/financial support of the student (via PI grants funded by external agencies, student obtained fellowship funding within or external to NMSU, etc.). Thus, the Graduate Student advising role requires the Observatory Astronomer to be active in their own supported research efforts.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
undergraduate astronomy education; laboratory exercise execution and student's ability levels; telescope operation; research and student fellowship funding opportunities; NMSU graduate school policies regarding graduate training and degree completion
observatory operation, hands-on maintenance of observatory hardware (telescopes, domes, computers, etc.); conducting the research the subsequent writing of a scientific paper which is submitted to and ultimately published in a peer-reviewed journal
to work independently in assessing laboratory exercise improvement needs and the present options to instructors and Teaching Assistants; assess observatory hardware needs and determine when parts can be repaired or should be replaced; successfully compete for external research funds which can provide stipend and professional travel support to graduate students
Minimum Qualifications:
   Education- Doctorate in a related field.
   Experience- Five (5) years of directly related professional experience.
   Equivalency- None
   Departmental Requirements-
   Special Requirements-