Sr. Public Education Officer or STEAM Education Manager (4968)

Education and Outreach Socorro, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a diverse, exciting, and prestigious research facility that plays a vital role in the study of the universe. In addition to its scientific work, the Observatory is committed to outreach and education. The Observatory offers a wide range of programs and resources for students, teachers, and the general public, including tours, lectures, and online resources. The Observatory operates a variety of radio telescopes that span the globe, including the famous Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile.


NRAO announces an opportunity for a full-time Senior Public Education Officer or Education Manager depending upon qualifications. The Senior Education Specialist/STEAM Education Manager leads, develops, and actively participates in the education, public outreach, and visitor center programs based in New Mexico in support of the Observatory-wide EPO program goals.


The position will be based at the Science Operations Center in Socorro, NM on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ( but works regularly at the Very Large Array.


The Senior Public Education Officer

Leads the formal and informal education and visitor center programs conducted throughout the Observatory. Manages the establishment of education goals and strategies and implements tactics to achieve with the Observatory EPO mission and vision and strategic education goals. Collaborates with EPO staff and others to fund new initiatives and assess the effectiveness of the Observatory wide formal and informal education program.


The STEAM Education Manager

The STEAM Education Manager is responsible for defining and improving NRAO's teaching interfaces to learners and educators and growing a healthy STEAM EPO grants portfolio for the Observatory. (S)he manages and launches formal and informal STEAM and STEAM educational programs for the Observatory and supervises the NRAO Senior STEAM Education Specialist and STEAM Education Specialist in Socorro, NM. Additionally, the STEAM Education Manager will build relationships throughout the Observatory to support and encourage staff to actively participate in STEAM educational activities across all sites.


What You Will be Doing:


The Senior Public Education Officer

  • Leads and manages Observatory education officers at various sites, including goal setting, personnel assignment, schedules, and performance reviews.
  • Serves as Education Officer for the Very Large Array, leading and managing education staff by setting goals and assignments, and by conducting performance reviews.
  • Actively participate as a member of the Education and Public Outreach Division, contributing to Observatory wide short- and long-term planning, program development, reporting, and performance assessment.
  • Leads efforts to seek external funding to further develop NRAO education programs.
  • Leads the design, development, and implementation of formal education, informal education, and professional development programs related to astronomy, radio astronomy and the NRAO for K-12 teachers and students.
  • Empowers and trains subordinates to give programs, presentations, and tours for the public, media, teachers, and students.
  • Leads the development of radio astronomy-themed educational/curriculum support materials for use by teachers and students.
  • Overseas the NRAO Research for Teachers programs, including working with teachers, arranging for mentors, and developing the program.
  • Answers queries from educators, students, and the general public about the NRAO and astronomy.
  • Pro-active compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in the work area is expected.
  • Other duties may be assigned.


The STEAM Education Manager

  • Manages a team of educators to innovate STEAM education and professional development programs that expand the Education and Public Outreach footprint of NRAO locally to build growth on a national scale, with an emphasis on growing impactful; and, when appropriate, sustainable formal and informal STEAM activities in our facility regions, including the establishment and growth of national and international radio astronomy citizen science efforts.
  • Manages and coordinates all NRAO STEAM education programs and products under the direction of the EPO Assistant Director with a style and purpose that results in an exceptional quality of delivery, cross-facility collaboration, effective Program Management Department integration and reporting, and efficient leveraging of diverse resources.
  • Supervises the site-based Education team members on developing STEAM-related grant applications and fundraising initiatives, including serving as NRAO’s Principal Investigator on such grants when appropriate and being an NRAO PMD liaison for STEAM EPO project management and development.
  • Oversees the visitor experience at the Very Large Array site, ensuring tour guides are trained and messages developed for a variety of adult and school audiences.
  • Develops grassroots to high-level, creative, sustainable partnerships, seeking connections with government agencies, school districts, charter schools, libraries, formal and informal education organizations, and creative special interest groups, to develop and advance the Observatory’s STEAM education portfolio.
  • Pro-active compliance with NRAO and government safety policies and procedures in the work area is expected.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Work Environment

Work is performed in an office environment working at a computer and interacting regularly with employees and on site at the Very Large Array.  The VLA Site is a remote scientific/industrial facility at 7000 feet elevation.


Who You Are:


  • You have a bachelor’s degree in astronomy, physical science, education, or related field. You may have a master’s degree but is not required.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in a related field.
  • While not required, you may have at least 7 years of experience in a related field, with at least 3 in a lead or supervisory role.


Competency Summary

  • Working knowledge of personal computers, the Internet, and Microsoft Office Suite fluency
  • Knowledge of STEAM education best practices from across various disciplines.
  • Understanding of diverse pedagogical approaches to education, familiarity with learning styles and developmental stages.
  • Ability to bring to bear a broad range of educational tools and methods.
  • Facility to create innovative, personal, and high-touch educational experiences for diverse audiences.


Additional Requirement

  • Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.

Background Check

The selected candidate must successfully pass a post-offer, pre-employment background check as a condition of employment.


Total Rewards:


The NRAO offers a comprehensive total rewards package for this position, subject to eligibility requirements. We are committed to serving our employees and their families with an extensive and competitive compensation and benefits package that supports our employees’ overall well-being and career growth.



The NRAO strives to attract and retain dedicated, highly qualified, competent, and motivated employees by offering competitive compensation and recognition for performance. Factors which may affect starting pay within this range may include education, experience, skills, competencies, other qualifications of the successful candidate, as well as internal equity and labor market conditions. 



NRAO’s benefits package addresses the needs of employees and their families with most benefits beginning on the first day of employment. NRAO provides excellent paid time off (13 holidays, annual accrual of up to 24 vacation days and 15 sick days, additional time off for doctor/dentist visits, and 8 weeks of paid parental leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective on the first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay with no required employee contribution; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Application Instructions:


Select the “Apply” button. Please be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position.


Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:


AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to [email protected].



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.