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    Classified Staff Job Description

    The University of Arizona

    Human Resources

    Classified Staff Employee Job Description

    Job Code: 030403
    Title: Observatory Operations Manager
    Pay Grade: 63
    Pay Range

    Purpose of Classification:
    Plans, organizes and supervises the activities at an observatory site. Supervises employees in the preparation, calibration and maintenance of the telescope and related observatory equipment. Typical classifications supervised are Electronic Technicians and/or Machinists, Telescope Operations Specialists, Astronomical Instrumentation Specialists and Administrative Assistant.

    Distinguishing Characteristics:
    This is a specialized classification and not part of a series. This position typically reports to a Director.

    Example of Duties:
    • Supervises the day-to-day activities of staff to assure effective operation of the telescope as a research tool.
    • Ensures proper operation and function of the telescope and its related equipment.
    • Ensures that correct instrumentation has been installed and configured in accordance with the telescope research schedule.
    • Participates in the calibration and testing of equipment.
    • Plans for annual summer maintenance projects and the re-coating of the telescope optics.
    • Organizes a preventative maintenance program to assure efficient and trouble-free operation of the telescope, equipment, machinery and buildings at the site and establishes work and maintenance priorities.
    • Serves as a multi-disciplined technical specialist to identify and correct existing and potential problems in the operation of the telescope and its support systems.
    • Recommends replacement of existing equipment or the purchase of new equipment as needed.
    • Prepares annual budget and operations plan.
    • Prepares annual evaluations of staff and participates in staff hiring and salary reviews.
    • Oversees an observatory-wide safety program (personnel, fire, electrical, hazardous materials, weather, etc.) to assure a safe environment for staff, for visiting astronomers and for the telescope. Trains and supervises subordinate personnel to ensure safe operation of the research station.
    • Collaborates with other observatory staff and visiting astronomers and engineers to develop new equipment and instrumentation to enhance the capabilities of the telescope.
    • Works with appropriate work units to ensure reliable site utilities, communications, transportation and road maintenance.
    • Maintains good working relationships with members of other organizations at the observatory site.

    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
    • Knowledge of astronomical telescopes and associated optical, mechanical, electronic, cryogenic and computer systems.
    • Knowledge of general maintenance practices and procedures.
    • Knowledge of supervisory practices and principles.
    • Knowledge of safety practices.
    • Skill in record keeping.
    • Skill in the use of computers, electronic test equipment, power tools, welders, lathes and cranes.
    • Skill in effectively communicating verbally and in writing.
    • Ability to think and work in a mountain environment at an altitude in excess of 7,000 feet.

      Minimum Qualifications:
      • Bachelor's degree in Astronomy, Engineering, Physics or related field and six years of experience in telescope operations and management, which includes two years of supervisory experience; OR,
      • Two years of technical training and eight years of experience in telescope operations and management, which includes two years of supervisory experience; OR,
      • Ten years of experience in telescope operations and management, which includes two years of supervisory experience; OR,
      • Any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education approved by Human Resources.
      • Possession of a valid Arizona Class D driver's license upon employment.


      Revised: 07/01/2007

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