Deputy Director for Science

Posted on
Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Science
City: Flagstaff
State/Province: AZ
Country: United States
Contact Person: Jeff Hall
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Lowell Observatory
Application Due Date: Friday, April 30 2021
Web Link:

Lowell Observatory invites applications for the position of Deputy Director for Science (DDS). The DDS is responsible for the Observatory’s scientific management and vision. This is a full-time, exempt, employment-at-will position reporting to the Director.  The DDS will be a tenured member of the scientific staff.  The term as DDS is five years, renewable upon mutual agreement with the Director. Salary is based on experience and is set by the Director.

Lowell Observatory is an independent, 501(c)(3) institution that conducts research and outreach in astronomy and planetary science. Founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell, the Observatory operates three sites: its main campus on Mars Hill overlooking Flagstaff, Arizona and two dark sky sites at Anderson Mesa and Happy Jack, 10 and 40 miles from Flagstaff, respectively.  Lowell has an operating budget of approximately $14M and employs a staff of ~125, including a faculty of 15 astronomers and planetary scientists as well as several postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate research interns.

The faculty’s research expertise includes solar system studies including Pluto and the Kuiper belt, icy moons, occultations, and comets and NEOs; stellar astrophysics including massive star evolution, fundamental stellar parameters, and solar and stellar variations; star formation and exoplanetary systems; galactic structure and evolution; and large-scale structure of the Universe.  In support of its research programs, Lowell owns and operates several telescopes, including the 4.3-meter Lowell Discovery Telescope (LDT) and the 1.1-meter John Hall telescope. Partners in the LDT include Boston University, the University of Maryland, the University of Toledo, Northern Arizona University, and Yale University. Lowell also operates the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI) under a contract from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and in partnership with NRL and the United States Naval Observatory (USNO). With a maximum baseline of 437 m, the NPOI is presently undergoing a multi-million-dollar upgrade that will substantially increase its sensitivity and scientific potential. Faculty collaborate extensively in the rich scientific environment of Flagstaff, including with staff at the NAU Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, the USNO Flagstaff Station, and the astrogeology branch of the United States Geological Survey.

The principal responsibility of the DDS is to manage and implement the scientific goals and vision of the Observatory, in close collaboration with the faculty and scientific staff. The Science Master Plan and the Strategic Plan, both of which are developed by staff and approved by the Trustee and the Director, capture many of the ways this will be pursued. The DDS will lead periodic reviews of these plans to maintain and evolve them as needed, and the DDS will work with all Observatory senior management to ensure the science vision is correctly integrated and prioritized within the Observatory’s overall Strategic Plan. The DDS also acts as the principal source of support and assistance for the faculty, including mentoring of faculty on the tenure track, providing letters of support for individuals and for proposals, managing hiring of tenure-track astronomers, and overseeing 3-year and 6-year tenure reviews.

Please see the complete announcement and instructions on how to apply at the website link.