Public Program Telescope Operator (Seasonal) (Flagstaff)

Lowell Observatory

1400 W Mars Hill Rd

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compensation: $20/hr
employment type: part-time
job title: Public Program Telescope Operator
Seasonal through September 2024

Lowell Observatory’s Public Program department welcomes over 100,000 visitors per year. We seek several extraordinary communicators to join our ranks as a Public Program Telescope Operators. Our visitors expect exceptional historic tours and telescope viewing experiences. The Public Program Telescope Operator fills that role by showing visitors around the night sky using a variety of telescopes and visual aids, communicating to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Operators report to Public Program Supervisors.

Lowell Observatory (LO) is an independent, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Boston mathematician Percival Lowell. We are located atop a mesa overlooking downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, where we are steadily growing and carrying out our dual mission of astronomical research and communication of our discoveries to the public. We are a dynamic place where we inspire incredible people to do remarkable work.


Public Program Telescope Operators will
• Enthusiastically engage and interact with visitors from around the world
• Be able to answer questions about astronomy and objects in the night sky.
• Operate and engage visitors with a variety public telescopes primarily at the Giovale Open Deck Observatory. As needed and as possible they may assist at the Dyer and Clark telescopes.
• Check email, website, internal calendar, Deputy, and other relevant resources daily in order to have complete understanding of public program-related activities going on at Lowell Observatory
• Understand the benefits of a membership to Lowell Observatory; make visitors aware of the membership programs
• Stay current with astronomy-related news and events
• Participate in regularly scheduled public program staff meetings
• Provide interpretation, security and maintenance in the exhibit areas
• Maintain working knowledge of Lowell’s safety protocols and emergency procedures
• Perform other duties as assigned.

Public Program Telescope Operators may learn and be asked to:
• Lead outdoor stargazing programs, safely use a laser pointer
• Assist in staffing the Pluto dome and the Rotunda.


• Excellent public speaking and interpersonal skills
• Must be outgoing, personable, energetic, and enthusiastic
• Weekend and evening hours required
• Ability to effectively manage large groups of diverse people
• Must be punctual, articulate, and present a professional image to the general public


College degree or enrolment in a current program of study in astronomy or other STEM discipline is preferred, or demonstrable equivalent prior experience. Prior experience using astronomical telescopes and speaking to groups in formal and/or informal settings will be considered a plus.


This position requires long periods of standing, walking, bending, stretching, reaching, climbing, and lifting (under 40 lbs). Moving throughout the campus, on sometimes uneven terrain, sometimes in low light. A portion of this position is spent outside. You should expect working outside in summer heat and winter temperatures that frequently drop below freezing.

Interaction with the public is required.


Training on the telescopes will take place within the first month and is probationary pending satisfactory completion of training. LO reserves the right to extend the probationary period at its sole discretion. This is a seasonal position, expected to run through the end of September.

Status: Part Time Hourly. Temporary through September 2023
Hours: Part-time, 16-29 hours per week. (hours can increase to as many as 40 hours per week depending on individual availability and need in the department) Applicants must be regularly available weekends and evenings.
Compensation: $20
Benefit Eligible: See below*
FLSA Classification: Non-Exempt
Location: Lowell Observatory’s Mars Hill Campus – Flagstaff, AZ

To Apply: Instructions for applying can be found at https://lowell.edu/about/career-opportunities/

The deadline to apply is May 29th.

*Part Time employees will receive sick time accrual according to AZ state law. After 6 months of employment, part time employees are eligible to participate in a 5% match if they contribute 5% or more to their retirement plan, as well as 2 paid personal days per year.
Employment is subject to passing a background check

Lowell Observatory is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity or Veteran status. Lowell Observatory has always been, and always will be, committed to diversity and inclusion. We seek individuals from all backgrounds to join our teams, and we encourage our employees to bring their authentic, original, and best selves to work.

Lowell Observatory sits at the base of mountains sacred to tribes throughout the region. We honor their past, present, and future generations, who have lived here for millennia and will forever call this place home.

Lowell Observatory is committed to providing access, and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. Our non-smoking campus is at an elevation of 7,200ft/2200m, and the LDT is 40 miles south of Flagstaff at an elevation of 7,800 ft/2370m. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Human Resources office for assistance.

VERSION May 2024
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.

post id: 7747188399


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