Job Opportunity: Assistant Manager of Planetarium Programs, CAS

The California Academy of Sciences is hiring an Assistant Manager of Planetarium Programs.

The Assistant Manager of Planetarium Programs is responsible for hiring, coaching and supervising a team of planetarium presenters including the Planetarium Programs Specialist, Senior Presenter(s), and Planetarium Presenters I and II who work on the Morrison Planetarium team delivering public programming. This position is responsible for high-quality visitor engagement, education, and outreach on science topics with a special emphasis on astronomy.

The Assistant Manager also creates, implements, and presents astronomy and natural science content for Morrison Planetarium and other venues in the Academy. In addition, this position is responsible for coordinating with other departments to integrate programming initiatives, to develop partnerships internally and externally for effective program delivery. The position reports to the Senior Director of the Morrison Planetarium and Visualization Studio.

Position Duties and Responsibilities

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable persons with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Oversee training, professional development, performance management, and supervision of planetarium presenters and volunteers
  • Schedule and coordinate with other departments, including Guest Experience, Security, Public Programs, and Teacher and Student Engagement, among others, to ensure that a staff member is always ready and able to give shows for every scheduled show in all venues, stepping in to present shows if necessary
  • Provide feedback and presentation skills coaching to presenter staff, leading by example
  • Hire planetarium presenters, including writing and updating job descriptions, working with HR and leading the hiring team through the recruitment process beginning to end
  • Meet regularly with Guest Experience to coordinate efforts related to the planetarium
  • Present planetarium shows for the public and special audiences—e.g., school groups
  • Deliver one or two program shifts per week, provide backup coverage as needed
  • Develop, design, and implement new and existing programs, including presentations in the planetarium, portable dome, and Hohfeld Hall presentations, in collaboration with the Assistant Director and Senior Director
  • Oversee personnel and visitor experience and scheduling operations, as well as internal policies of Morrison Planetarium
  • Coordinate public-facing presentations by planetarium presenter staff, including creating the daily and weekly schedules for the team
  • Delegate tasks and projects to the presenters, in consultation with Senior Director and Assistant Director
  • Oversee the presenter staff budget and manage labor pool to ensure delivery on budget
  • Manage calendar for planetarium and other venues, coordinating with the Senior Producer of Immersive Media, the Experience Engineering team, and staff in other Academy divisions
  • Act as contact for onsite staff on weekends, holidays, and as needed Market planetarium programs in collaboration with the Assistant Director, Teacher and Student Engagement team, Marketing Department, and Public Programs
  • Present astronomy and natural science presentations in other venues as needed
  • In collaboration with the Assistant Director, support special events—e.g., Astronomy Day and outreach activities
  • Maintain strong partnerships with cross-departmental and cross-divisional teams
  • Communicate effectively with fellow staff and maintain a positive work environment
  • Support other division-wide initiatives
  • Follow all Academy safety regulations
  • Other projects and duties as assigned

Scheduling Requirments

Applicants must be available to work at least one weekend day, some holidays, and some evenings, and will be expected to deliver at least one program shift per week, as well as providing backup coverage.

Minimum Qualifications

The qualifications listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required or preferred.

Experience and/or Education

  • Post-secondary degree or certification in natural science or physical science (astronomy strongly preferred), science education, or similar, with broad knowledge of other sciences, or equivalent work experience
  • Three years’ experience presenting in planetariums (and operating planetarium systems), museum education, or astronomy public outreach
  • Three years’ experience creating content for planetariums or other media-rich digital environments
  • A minimum of one year of experience in project management
  • Experience supervising staff or volunteers on project-based work involving public programming
  • Basic photo editing and digital asset management experience preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to delegate and train others to meet department goals and project deadlines
  • Proficiency in MS Office and Google suite (on a Mac or a PC platform)
  • Excellent astronomy and broad-based science knowledge and rigorous attention to scientific accuracy
  • Working knowledge of planetarium systems, tools, and software (OpenSpace, Uniview, Digital Sky, Digistar, or SkyExplorer required)
  • Working knowledge of planetarium projection and lighting and audio systems
  • Adept at supporting technical troubleshooting in potentially stressful situations
  • Excellent presentation skills and fundamental knowledge of the best practices in interpretation
  • Enjoy working with the public
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals; ability to write routine reports and correspondence
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and projects simultaneously
  • Ability to perform repetitive motions 50% of the time

Learn more and apply.

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