Postdoctoral Research Associate in Near Earth Objects

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Near Earth Objects

Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) and University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) seek a postdoctoral scientist to work on the follow up of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and the creation of a citizen science program.  The ideal candidate should have demonstrated expertise in observations of Solar System objects and experience with software development, although candidates from other astrophysical fields with strong software background are also encouraged.

This position is funded by a grant from NASA to:

   1) develop and exploit the LCO global network of robotic telescopes for NEO follow-up;

   2) lead photometric and spectroscopic characterization of NEOs; and

   3) assist in the creation of a web-based citizen science environment for Solar System investigations by the general public.

The successful candidate will also contribute to the overall mission of the observatory – the creation of a worldwide network of robotic telescopes specializing in time domain astronomy.

LCO currently operates ten 1 meter and two 2 meter robotic telescopes, which will be used in this program.  The 2 meter Faulkes Telescopes in Haleakala, Hawaii, and Siding Spring, Australia feature both imagers and robotic FLOYDS low-resolution spectrographs.  The 1 meter telescopes have imagers and are located at McDonald Observatory in Texas, CTIO in Chile, Siding Spring in Australia, and SAAO in South Africa.

Applicants should submit a CV, cover letter, and research statement, and should arrange to have three letters of reference sent to lcojobs@lco.global.  Electronic PDF submissions are preferred. Applications complete by August 4, 2017 will receive full consideration.  A Ph.D. in astronomy, physics, or a related discipline is required. The term of this position is 1 year, with a possibility of extension pending a successful funding outcome. LCO and the UCSB Department of Physics are especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research. LCO and UCSB are equal opportunity employers.

This position has the option to be held as an employee of UCSB and thus receive the UCSB benefit package for Postdoctoral Scholars or held as a direct employee of LCO with similar benefits, but still affiliated with UCSB. For further information on UCSB benefits, see http://hr.ucsb.edu/benefits/postdoctoral-scholars

The preferred start date is October 1, 2017.