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    FLWO's public outreach activities have historically been a significant part of SAO’s contribution to the Smithsonian Institution’s mission of increase and diffusion of knowledge. Through its visitor center and community involvement, FLWO introduces SAO's pioneering work in astronomy to over 10,000 members of the general public each year. The PIO also provides essential public outreach in the area of site protection, educating the public, local and regional government officials, and others about the light pollution threats posed to the Observatories by new development.

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    1. Plans, coordinates, and implements local and regional public affairs programs related to SAO’s operations in Arizona:

    • Manages the FLWO Visitor Center, including maintaining and updating public displays and video materials.
    • Enhances the public outreach aspect of the Observatory Website, and establishes and maintains a social media presence.
    • Recruits, trains, and oversees volunteers to staff the Visitor Center, and serve as tour guides, safety crew members and engineering assistants.
    • Organizes public and other special tours, public lecture series by astronomers from SAO and other institutions, and quarterly Star Parties. Establishes and maintains liaison with local amateur astronomy groups.
    • Assists schools and other organizations with science education, and maintains the MicroObservatory for the SAO Science Education Department.
    • Fosters close contacts with the media by responding to press inquiries, providing interviews, hosting visiting journalists, and assisting with filming for astronomy-related programs.
    • Plans, schedules and coordinates visits to FLWO by dignitaries, Institution and other officials, visiting scientists and/or staff from other Observatories, the media, and other interested parties. Works closely with the SAO Advancement Office to host potential donors. This includes the development and presentation of accurate and understandable information about Observatory research activities.
    • Serves as liaison with SAO Cambridge public affairs staff.

    1. Provides public outreach, education, and liaison in support of protecting the Observatory site from threats of degradation because of light and other pollution resulting from industrial, commercial, residential and other development:
    • Serves as liaison between FLWO and government and agency officials including the USFS, Border Patrol, Santa Cruz County, Pima County, Cochise County, Town of Sahuarita, City of Tucson International Dark-sky Association
    • Monitors area activities and attends, or ensures FLWO representation at, relevant city, town, and county meetings and public hearings. Provides assistance to planning staff as appropriate.
    • Researches and prepares input to Environmental Assessments and Impact Statements for Federal and other agencies
    • Coordinates site protection activities with MMTO staff and other regional observatories including Mt. Lemmon, KPNO, MGIO, VATT, Lowell, USNO, Apache Point, McDonald, Guillermo Haro, and Palomar; and with semi-professional observatories in Southern Arizona such as the Grasslands Observatory, Winer, and Tenagra.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - May be required to travel to conferences, meetings, etc.,

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    This position is open to all qualified candidates eligible to work in the United States.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • Job family (Series)

    1035 Public Affairs

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/495702800. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.