(cba:news) employment, imagine that

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Thu May 11 08:00:44 EDT 2000

Dear CBAers,

     I'm writing now about something completely unrelated to all
previous letters!  Employment in astronomy... imagine that.

     As many of you know, Columbia University has been making new
commitments to astronomy in southern Arizona - in the form of the
Biosphere-2 "Universe Semester" program, and membership in the MDM
Observatory.  These have brought 100% use of a 0.6 m telescope, and 33%
use of 2.4 and 1.3 m telescopes.

     But we are an ivy-encrusted school firmly anchored in New York
City, and it has proved difficult to get local people to commit to work
stints in Arizona.  We're advertising in all the usual places, but
so far have not seen a lot of qualified applicants.  It occurred to me
that the ranks of CBA might be an excellent place to find the talent we

     The main positions we need to fill very soon are teaching and
staff positions at the Bio-2 programs.  Experience in teaching is very
desirable, but at least as important is a background and high interest
in using the telescopes.  We have a summer program around June 15-July
20, and then the regular fall/spring semesters starting around Sep 6.
All these positions pay around $2000/month, mas o menos depending on
experience I guess.  And if you don't mind living close to a bunch of
college students, free room too.  (Housing in this sleepy little desert
town is easy and cheap anyway.)  We have plenty of flexibility in
hiring, re schedules and so forth.  And we have plenty of interest in
non-Americans too!  Gordon Garradd worked last year, to the great
benefit of the students and the telescopes; he'll be back in the
summer, and I hope for years to come.

     The other position is more speculative.  Kitt Peak has basically
put their 0.9 m telescope "up for bid".  We (MDM, the 3-university
observatory consortium) are inclined to put in a bid.  It does require
(if it's successful) that we hire about 1.5 people as permanent
observers.  The idea is that the telescope will be dedicated as a
photometric telescope, freeing the 1.3 m for mostly spectroscopic
programs.  So this is essentially an observatory job.  It's also
possible that it would be dovetailed with some work at Bio-2.

     If you have an interest in any of these positions, write and let
me know!


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