Subject: SDSS Observers recruitment


Submitted: Sun, 13 Oct 1996 15:42:10 -0600

Message number: 96 (previous: 95, next: 97 up: Index)

This is an "in-house" advance posting for the SDSS Observers recruitment.
We're sending it first to the two general ARC e-mail exploders, also
putting it on the APO www server, and shortly it will be advertised more
generally once all the paperwork protocols are satisfied.  Hiring is
expected to begin asap and continue through next year.



SDSS Observers
Apache Point Observatory
P.O. Box 59
Sunspot, NM  88349-0059
Attention:  Bruce Gillespie, Site Operations Manager

New Mexico State University (NMSU) is seeking Observers to conduct
observing programs for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) at Apache Point
Observatory (APO) and participate in the Survey's scientific programs.
Applicants should have experience in collecting and analyzing optical
imaging and spectroscopic data.  A Ph.D. in astronomy, physics, or related
field is preferred, but all applicants with relevant experience and strong
scientific motivation will be considered.  The survey observing activities
are expected to last at least five years, and it is hoped the successful
applicants will be available for the duration.  Initial appointments may be
for a shorter time, with early review, but in any case will depend on the
actual applicant and experience.

APO is owned and operated by the Astrophysical Research Consortium; NMSU is
the member institution responsible for observatory operations.  Located
near Sunspot, NM, the observatory has a 3.5-meter general-purpose
telescope, plus the Sloan Digital Sky Survey 2.5-meter and 0.6-meter
telescopes.  NMSU also has its own 1.0-meter telescope at APO.

The SDSS is a new, deep survey of the North Galactic Cap which includes CCD
imaging in five filters to r' =3D 23.1, and medium-resolution spectroscopy t=
determine redshifts for a million galaxies and a hundred thousand quasars.
The Survey is a collaboration of scientists at eight U.S. and foreign
institutions; it is expected that the Observers will become full
collaborators in the scientific effort.

Primary responsibilities include hands-on and console operations of the
2.5-m and 0.6-m telescopes.  Night-time operations also include monitoring
the data stream from the imaging camera, the spectrographs, and the 0.6-m
telescope; evaluating the on-line quality assurance information; and making
a variety of tactical decisions about the night's observing plan to
maximize the benefit to the Survey.  Observers will work cooperatively with
the data-reduction team at Fermilab to formulate nightly and monthly
observing plans based on the success of prior observations.  Observers will
also report, for each night of observation, information needed for
subsequent data reduction; instrument maintenance; and telescope
configuration for the following night's observations.

Responsibilities initially will focus on assisting with the engineering
commissioning and scientific testing phases.  This work will include
extension of the Observer software interface, and expanding user

There is considerable flexibility in the assignment of responsibilities,
since the Observers will comprise a pool of at least four individuals.
Some work could include daytime evaluation of systems performance as part
of the quality-assurance effort and planning later observations.  It is
also possible that Observers could rotate to Fermilab to work on the Survey
data reduction.

Applicants should have strong technical, mechanical, and engineering
skills, with hands-on experience in the operation of telescopes, CCDs,
spectrographs, vacuum systems, and cryogenics.  Computer skills are
mandatory, and an electronics background is desirable, as is experience
with telescope control systems and data analysis packages.  Applicants
should possess good communication skills, be able to work effectively with
members of a large and diverse collaboration, and exhibit initiative and
reliability.  Work will be on a non-standard schedule mutually agreed to by
the observing staff and the site operations supervisor.

Submit letter of application and r=E9sum=E9 (giving the names, addresses, an=
phone numbers of three references).  Positions will be filled when suitable
candidates are identified.  Offers of employment are contingent upon
funding and eligibility for employment in the U.S.  For additional
information, contact the above or Dr. Richard Kron, Survey Director at    EEO/AA

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