Telescope Operations Scientist

Telescope Operations Scientist

Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) invites applications for a Telescope Operations (TelOps) Scientist. LCO operates a globally distributed network of telescopes for scientific research and education. The capabilities of the LCO network are aimed at exploiting the time domain. Current areas of emphasis of our scientific program are supernovae, exoplanets, solar system objects, stellar astrophysics, and active galactic nuclei. LCO is a private, non-profit corporation, based in Santa Barbara, California.

The TelOps Scientist will work as a member of the globally distributed TelOps team and the local Science Operations team. The successful candidate will be results-oriented, a strong communicator, have experience with observatory operations, and be familiar with the workings of telescopes, astronomical equipment and instrumentation. A demonstrated ability to understand complex issues that cross over multiple disciplines is essential. The TelOps Scientist may optionally devote up to 20% of their time to their own astronomical research or outreach activities.


As a member of the TelOps team

  • Participate in the daily network monitoring activities
  • Help define and improve monitoring procedures and tools

As a member of the Science Operations team

  • Provide direct science user support for LCO network investigators
  • Develop and track data quality and quantity metrics for LCO science data
  • Develop and implement improvements in science operations that increase the scientific yield and quality of the network data
  • Work closely with the science, software, and engineering teams to understand and fix issues that arise



  • Bachelor’s degree in astronomy, physics, astrophysics, engineering, or related field
  • Experience with observatory operations and astronomical observations
  • Ability to work with a small group of globally distributed technical support staff
  • Interested in and able to collaborate across science and engineering disciplines
  • Experience with and expertise in analyzing astronomical data
  • Ability to work effectively in a complex software environment, including the utilization of software tools (i.e. Java, C, Python, mysql, xml)
  • Position is based in Goleta, California and in-office work is required


  • PhD in astronomy, physics, astrophysics or related field

Application Details
Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and cover letter describing relevant experience and research interests, and the names of three professional references (all in a single PDF document) to

The application deadline is June 12, 2021.

LCO offers a competitive salary, great vacation time, and generous benefits.

LCO is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. We are actively engaged in building and nurturing a culture that is welcoming and inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds with regard to race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability and veteran status.