LSST DM SQuaRE Observatory Scientist Job Ad

LSST SQuaRE Observatory Scientist
Applications due by Dec. 15th!

Job Announcement Text:
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

LSST is a planned, large-aperture, wide-field, ground-based telescope that will survey half the sky every few nights in six optical bands. It will explore a wide range of astrophysical questions, ranging from discovering “killer” asteroids, to examining the nature of dark energy. The project includes an 8-meter class wide field telescope, a 3.2 gigapixel camera with 2-second readout, and a state-of-the-art petascale data management system to process, archive,and distribute the 15 TB of data produced every night. LSST Construction began in August of 2014, funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy, and will last for 8 years. Once completed, the LSST will be the largest and most modern optical survey project ever built.

The LSST Data Management (DM) system will be constructed by a team of 45+ members residing at partner institutions across the United States and Chile. It will include a data processing system spanning two continents, new state-of-the-art image processing algorithms, petascale computing clusters with tens of thousands of cores, large distributed databases, and next-generation analysis toolkits, among others. All LSST DM code is free software (GPL v3), written in modern Python and C++.

LSST DM is soliciting applications for an Observatory Scientist position within the DM Science Quality and Reliability Engineering (SQuaRE) group at the LSST Project Office (Headquarters) in Tucson, AZ. One of the main responsiblities of SQuaRE is to validate and test the readiness of the LSST DM software system for science applications using simulations and precursor survey data. The observatory scientist will process and analyze existing precursor datasets with the LSST software stack as it is developed (working closely with SQuaRE Science Lead Dr. David Nidever), with the goal of understanding and characterizing the performance of the pipeline for realistic scientific usage. These analyses will then be used to develop automated quality metrics to further guide DM system development. This person will also have the opportunity to contribute to the DM software development in general, and will also have 20% of their time to pursue LSST-related science.

Candidates must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. in Astronomy or a related field before the starting date of the position.

The appointment is for the duration of LSST construction (7 years), with the potential for continuation into Survey Operations (a subsequent 10 years). Starting salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Tucson has one of the richest astronomical research environments in the world (with Steward Observatory, NOAO, LSST and LPL) and with significant, and growing, expertise in large optical data sets. In addition, the Tucson astronomical community and Tucson as a whole is very family friendly.

Apply Online via the AURA Job Board. Please submit a letter of interest,curriculum vitae, list of publications, a brief statement of relevant experience, and three professional reference contacts. Application reviews will begin immediately, and continue through December 15, 2015.

As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate because of race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. Preference granted to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono O’odham reservation.

Included Benefits:
AURA provides a generous compensation package including health coverage, paid time off and retirement benefits.