Scientific Data Analyst I/II (4269)

Observatory Service and Science Socorro, New Mexico


Description

Position Description:

 

Position Summary

NRAO is about to start observing the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS) – a multi-year, all-sky, radio survey using the Very Large Array, located in New Mexico. In preparation for the survey NRAO seeks two Scientific Data Analysts to support both data quality assurance for the survey, and user and operations support. The positions are available at level I, although one may be filled at level II depending on the candidate’s experience and qualifications.

 

The positions are based at the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (www.nmt.edu). Socorro is a small, historical town in the Rio Grande Valley, 75 miles south of Albuquerque. In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.

 

Job Duties Summary

  • Assist Observatory users with data reduction and imaging; assess the quality of data products for users and for VLASS; provide informative summaries and scripts.
  • Respond to, refer, and follow up on queries submitted through the helpdesk.
  • Assist visiting scientists in data reduction, data analysis, and archive access, through one-on-one support (helpdesk and face-to-face visits) and group training activities (schools and tutorials).
  • Participate in scientific testing of software and procedures for user support and/or telescope operations.     
  • Pro-active compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in own work area is expected. 
  • Other duties as assigned.

 

In addition to those duties described above, a level II Scientific Data Analyst will:

  • Maintain a working knowledge of all relevant user software for NRAO instruments.  
  • Maintain documentation/archives and web pages of data products; assist users by having a working knowledge of all relevant user software for NRAO instruments for proposal submission, observation preparation, and post-processing data reduction. 
  • Possibly be assigned additional functional responsibility within the team, such as statistical reporting or assisting in the generation and editing of instructional material for users.
  • Act as a mentor to level I Data Analysts.

 

Work Environment

Work is typically performed in an office environment.  The successful candidate will be required to sit for long periods of time and operate a personal computer.

 

Position Requirements:

 

Minimum Education

Minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in Astronomy, Physics or related field is required.

 

Preferred Education

Advanced degree in related field.

 

Minimum Experience

No prior experience is required for a level I Scientific Data Analyst. A minimum of two years of highly relevant work experience is required for a level II Scientific Data Analyst, where prior relevant experience includes a combination of 1) working with astronomical data products (radio, mm, or submm interferometric data); 2) reducing data using interferometric data reduction software; 3) software testing and debugging in support of users and/or telescope operations; and/or 4) face-to-face support of users/customers/students. An advanced astronomy degree may be substituted for years of experience.

 

Preferred Experience

For a level I Scientific Data Analyst, some experience working with radio astronomical data products and/or operating radio telescopes is preferred. For a level II Scientific Data Analyst, two or more years of highly relevant work experience is preferred; prior relevant experience includes a combination of:

  • Working with astronomical data products (radio, mm, or sub-mm interferometric data);
  • Reducing data using interferometric data reduction software (e.g., CASA/AIPS/MIRIAD);
  • Software testing and debugging in support of users and/or telescope operations;
  • Face-to-face support of users/customers/students;
  • Working with astronomical pipelines, problem reporting systems and problem resolution; and/or
  • Mentoring or training of less experienced users.

 

Pay grade and salary of selected candidate will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications.

 

Computer Skills

Experience with data reduction software (CASA/AIPS) and experience with Python is preferred. Able to use computers with MicroSoft Windows, MacOS, Linux and Solaris operating systems.

 

Competency Summary

Required competencies: strong communication skills (written and verbal); ability to remain calm while supporting demanding clients; analytical thinker; able to learn new systems quickly.  Additional, preferred competencies include:  an aptitude to take on increased responsibility; ability to take ownership of a functional area; proven ability to complete self-directed assignments; ability to effectively train and/or mentor others. The successful applicant should have at least a basic understanding of astronomy. Knowledge of radio and/or millimeter astronomy and experience with radio telescope observations is highly desirable.

 

The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)

 

 

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.