W. M. Keck Observatory
  • 25-Jul-2017 to 31-Aug-2017 (HST)

Under the general supervision of Telescope Support Supervisor, this position is responsible for daily telescope operations support on the summit. Daily telescope operations support includes telescope, and instrument configuration, slit mask milling, cryogenic servicing and telescope, dome and instrument checkout and startup.

 Essential Functions

  • Participate in the daily telescope operations support activities on the summit including, but not limited to:
    • Slit mask milling
    • Telescope configuration
    • Instrument configuration
    • Dome configuration
    • Cryogenic servicing
    • Telescope and instrument checkout and startup
    • Other duties consistent with preparing the facility for that night's observing.
  • Participate in maintaining accurate and useful standard operating procedures and documentation for daily telescope operations.
  • Perform regularly scheduled preventative maintenance on telescope systems as assigned by supervisor.
  • Keep supervisor informed of progress, problems and concerns related to the observatory; provide status reports as required.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Under the guidance of supervisor and the Summit Lead, collaborate with other summit technicians to create an efficient, effective and unified work environment based on the principles of teamwork and mutual responsibility for shared objectives.
  • Drive WMKO vehicles as necessary to transport employees to and from the summit in a safe manner.
  • Remove snow and ice as required to make the facility accessible, operational and safe.
  • Perform other duties consistent with the scope of this position.

Required Qualifications

  • Associates Degree in a technical field or equivalent work experience.
  • Three (3) years' experience in highly-technical or science operations environment.
  • Three (3) years' experience in an industrial environment with large machinery.
  • Experience following standard operating procedures.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working at an astronomical observatory
  • Experience working with cryogens Liquid Nitrogen and Liquid Helium


  • Microsoft Office Proficiency.
  • Motivated, self-starter who can manage multiple projects and priorities within a fast paced environment.

Certificates and Licenses

  • Valid driver's license and clean abstract.   


  • Communication: Ability to communicate effectively and concisely at all levels.
  • Interpersonal skills: Ability to build collaborative, effective relationships with staff.
  • Professionalism: Approaches others in a tactful manner; reacts well under pressure; treats others with respect and consideration; accepts responsibility for own actions; follows through on commitments.

Other Requirements

  • Willingness to commit to WMKO core values: Safety, Integrity, Respect, Discovery and Service.
  • Willingness to commit to WMKO cultural values: Education/Learning, Communication, Teamwork, Rewarding Work Environment, Excellence, Community Involvement.
  • Willingness and ability to occasionally work nights and weekends.

Physical Demands

These physical demands are representative of the physical requirements necessary for an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. This is not a complete list of the physical demands that may be required.

  • Standing: Remaining on one's feet in an upright position at a workstation without moving about.
  • Walking: Moving about on foot.
  • Lifting: Raising or lowering an object from one level to another (includes upward pulling) up to 75 pounds.
  • Vision: Color vision - Ability to identify and distinguish colors.
  • Hearing: Perceiving the nature of sounds at normal speaking levels with or without correction, and having the ability to receive detailed information through oral communication, and making fine discriminations in sound.
  • Carrying: Transporting an object, usually holding it in the hands or arms, or on the shoulder.
  • Pushing: Exerting force upon an object so that the object moves away from the force (Includes slapping, striking, kicking and treadle actions).
  • Pulling: Exerting force upon an object so that the object moves toward the force (includes jerking).
  • Climbing: Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles using feet and legs or hands and arms. Body agility is emphasized.
  • Balancing: Maintaining body equilibrium to prevent falling when walking, standing, crouching, or running on narrow, slippery, or erratically moving surfaces.
  • Stooping: Bending body downward and forward by bending spine at the waist, requiring full use of the lower extremities and back muscles.
  • Handling: Seizing, holding, grasping, turning, or otherwise working with hand or hands. Fingers are involved only to the extent that they are an extension of the hand, such as to turn a switch or shift automobile gears.
  • Ability to pass a high altitude physical.
  • Ability to work at the Observatory (14,000 feet elevation).

Environmental Conditions

These environmental conditions are representative of what an employee will encounter while performing the essential functions of the job. This is not a complete list of the environmental conditions that may be encountered.

  • Exposure to weather: Subject to extreme cold. Temperatures can be below 32 degrees for periods of more than one hour. Consideration should be given to the effect of other environmental conditions such as wind and humidity.
  • Subject to Noise: There is sufficient noise to cause the worker to shout in order to be heard above the ambient noise level.
  • Subject to Hazards: Moving mechanical parts.
  • Subject to constrained spaces: Required to function in narrow aisles or passageways.

The above information on this job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by an employee in this classification.  It is not to be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory, or all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of employees assigned to this job.  Management has the right to add to, revise, or delete information in this description.  Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.


W. M. Keck Observatory
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