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Job Summary

The University of Michigan announces an opening for a Research Assistant II with assignment at Kitt Peak, AZ.  This is a 12-month temporary employment opportunity for a proxy observer at the MDM Consortium at Kitt Peak, AZ.

The position involves traveling to various locations at the Observatory and around the surrounding area; ascending and descending ladders up to 5 feet high to operate the telescope; and periods of working alone for 48 hours at a time and in an isolated setting at night.  The work site is at an elevation of 7000 feet.


Primary Duties include:

Execute designated experiments; participate in the design and development of data analysis procedures, Operate the MDM 2.4 telescope and OSMOS instrument to obtain astronomical data for consortium members, Ensure telescope is operated safely in accordance with weather limits, Open and close telescope as needed, and top off detector coolants, If the 1.3m telescope is used remotely, open, close and fill detectors as needed, Select program targets appropriate for weather conditions, Acquire targets accurately and configure instrument to observer specs, Maintain logs adequate to assess data quality, Perform quicklook reductions to ensure quality, Alert observers when observations have been obtained, Optionally, perform pipeline reductions during down time

Prepare reports or data presentations: Delivery of high-quality, well-documented data to the MDM observer community, Complete, up-to-date, and easy-to-follow documentation for visiting observers

Required Qualifications*

Graduation from a college or university with one year relevant experience; familiarity with basic astronomy concepts; some familiarity with software and programming; experience working in a laboratory or observatory setting; good communication skills.  A valid driver's license is required.

Desired Qualifications*

The ideal candidate has completed an undergraduate degree in Astronomy and intends to pursue a graduate degree in Astronomy. 

Work Locations

Position is located at the MDM Consortium at Kitt Peak, AZ.

Additional Information

Target pay is $20.00 per hour.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.  The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by: 

  • Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences. 
  • Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.