The University of Texas at Austin Job Posting

This posting is Closed

Public Affairs Specialist I

Hiring department McDonald Observatory
Monthly salary $2,333+ depending on qualifications
Hours per week 40.00 Variable
Posting number 18-05-03-01-8679
Job Status Closed
FLSA status Non-exempt
Earliest Start Date Immediately
Position Duration Funding expected to continue
Position open to all applicants
Location McDonald Observatory (near Ft. Davis, TX)
Number of vacancies 1
General Notes

Hours include split shift work, some weekends and evenings. This position is at McDonald Observatory, located 16 miles away from Fort Davis, Texas and 440 miles away from the University's main campus in Austin.

Required Application Materials

  • A Resume is required in order to apply
  • A Letter of Interest is required in order to apply.
  • A List of 3 References is required in order to apply.

Additional Information


Supports and advances the education and public outreach mission of the McDonald Observatory and the University of Texas. Conducts evening star parties, special viewing nights, guided tours and solar viewing programs for public and private groups for the Frank Bash Visitors Center.

Essential Functions

Conducts evening star parties, special viewing nights, guided tours and solar viewing programs for public and private groups. Relates with visitors in a positive manner. Implements live theater and classroom public programs. Assists in routine maintenance of telescope equipment and domes. Follows established guidelines for safety and proper use of computer-controlled telescopes. Maintains equipment in HET gallery. Assists visitors with online reservations. Assists with management of online reservations. Communicates with visitors to resolve reservation issues. Assists visitors at the information desk when necessary, and greets visitors upon arrival to the Observatory. Performs custodial duties when necessary. Participates in a cross-functional team and works cooperatively with other staff members towards completion of projects.

Marginal/Incidental functions

Performs related duties as required. Drives a UT vehicle.

Licenses: Class "C" Operator's Driver's License. Applicant selected must provide a current three year Driving Record from the current state of residence. If not currently a Texas resident, must obtain a Texas Driver's License within 30 days after entering Texas as a new resident.

Required qualifications

Sixty undergraduate semester credit hours. A combination of two years experience in public speaking, designing promotional events, managing public relations activities or in teaching. Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications

Two or more years of amateur astronomy with knowledge of night sky and ability to identify major constellations. Two or more years experience with amateur/professional telescopes and imaging equipment. Undergraduate introductory astronomy coursework preferred. Experience interpreting the science of astronomy in a public outreach setting.

Working conditions

May work in all weather conditions May work in extreme temperatures May work around standard office conditions May work around electrical and mechanical hazards Repetitive use of a keyboard at a workstation Use of manual dexterity Climbing of stairs Climbing of ladders Lifting and moving Work in low lighting conditions assisting public guests look through telescopes. Work outside at night in various weather conditions including low temperatures, wind, etc.

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