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    This is the position of Staff Assistant, Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO), Optical and Infrared Astronomy Division (OIR), Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO). The FLWO, located at Mt. Hopkins in Amado AZ, is a geographically isolated, technically specialized, and highly interactive scientific research environment in continuous 24 hour operation. As the largest field operation of SAO, FLWO is home to a number of optical and gamma ray telescopes including the MMT, VERITAS, the 1.5 and 1.2-meter reflectors, PAIRITEL, HAT, MEarth ,Minerva; their related scientific instruments; and a complex infrastructure that includes dormitories, telescope buildings, offices and laboratories, maintenance and repair facilities, and a public Visitor Center. FLWO hosts a large number of U.S. and international scientific visitors working at the telescope sites, as well as the general public. Its operation also requires close cooperation with staff of the University of Arizona, which operates the MMT jointly with SAO.

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    1. Provides financial administration to FLWO as follows:

    • Monitors obligations and expenditures of all FLWO operating funds including the federal allocation, private grants, revenue-generating funds, and SI maintenance/repair funds. Reconciles with SAO monthly ERP system financial reports and works with SAO FMD staff to correct errors when found.
    • Develops FLWO’s portion of the annual Federal budget submission.
    • Manages local checking account and reports monthly expenditures to SAO FMD. Administer the petty cash fund used for local purchases and submits all vouchers for reimbursement.
    • Periodically reconciles maintenance/repair fund discrepancies with the SI Project Manager in SI/OFEO and/or SAO FM staff.
    • Generates and distributes periodic internal financial statements on all funds.
    • Supports scientists and the VERITAS Program Manager with contract and grant submissions as requested, including collection of budgetary information and assembly of the final product.
    • Periodically surveys Project Heads to determine their projected needs for supplies and materials such as liquid nitrogen used by all telescopes, fuel for vehicles and backup generators, number of leased vehicles, equipment, etc. for both budget management and to generate or modify term or blanket purchase orders.
    2. Consistent with delegated purchasing authority, procures a wide variety of technical materials and services including maintenance and automotive supplies, electronic and optical equipment components, computer systems and accessories, and maintenance and repair services. This includes the following: ensuring adherence to Federal Acquisition Regulations; making decisions on price reasonableness; negotiating delivery dates and expediting orders; receiving items and verifying shipments; vouchering invoices and tracking payments; obtaining Material Safety Data Sheets on all new chemicals from manufacturers; and maintaining a current, centralized, MSDS reference book.

    3. Coordinates FLWO property management. This includes managing the inventory of property and ensuring that all tagging requirements are met; maintaining an automated system to track property inventory; conducting periodic inventory reviews; processing excess FLWO property for disposal; serving as liaison to other agency officials and the public for the distribution of property being excessed by FLWO; working with science, technical, and operations staff to identify Observatory needs that could be met with Federal excess property in ways that would be cost effective for FLWO and MMTO; screening available property, placing holds, processing required documentation; and arranging for transfer and shipping to FLWO.

    4. Provides overall administrative support to FLWO in areas including human resources, travel, the safety program, operation of the FLWO Visitor’s Center, motor pool fleet maintenance, and construction contract administration. Serves as COTR for the base and mountain facilities’ cleaning contract; supervises the administrative support assistant; obtains, prepares, and submits required documentation for contracts managed through SI/OCON; and serves as an information source on all administrative policies and practices

    Travel Required

    Not required

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    This position is open to all U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals

    Note: Federal employees with permanent status or individuals eligible for special appointing authorities may apply to Job Announcement 16-58

    Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/452455600. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.