Job Opportunity: Planetarium Director, Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, NJ

Join the team at Liberty Science Center with the opening of the largest planetarium in the western hemisphere (27 m). As Planetarium Director you will work with a dynamic STEM Education team as you develop the vision for this amazing facility.

Position Overview

Liberty Science Center (LSC) is currently in the process of transitioning the film IMAX Theater into a full-dome digital planetarium. The renovation is expected to be completed in December 2017. With the opening of the planetarium, Liberty Science Center aims to break the mold of the traditional planetarium programming by offering not only astronomy and space science themed programming but also content that spans the full breadth and depth of all science disciplines. Program content will present real science in real time using the immersive qualities of the all-dome video to capture the imagination and ignite the excitement of audience members of all ages. With a 27-meter dome, the new Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium will be the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. The new planetarium will have a 30 degree tilted Spitz NanoSeam dome and 400 seats. In addition, it will be equipped with an Evans & Sutherland (E&S) True8K Digistar 6 system projecting images via 10 Christie Boxer video projectors. Additional equipment includes a Christie insert video projector for non-full dome video, AVI Skylase Laser Projector, and ChromaCove High-Power RGBW cove lighting. The ideal Planetarium Director will be a known leader in the Planetarium profession and passionate about the presentation of astronomy and space science topics to school groups of all ages and the general public. The Planetarium Director will be tasked with developing an innovative astronomy and space science program portfolio that will stand as a national model for planetarium programming. They will be a leader in developing partnerships between LSC and NASA, professional astronomy observatories, space science institutions, and commercial space flight corporations; and between LSC and planetaria around the world. The Planetarium Director will report to the Vice President of STEM Education.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead and assist in the development and delivery of Planetarium programming and establish an environment conducive to learning and appropriate to the physical, social, and emotional development of our diverse audience members
  • Collaborate in the research and development of new astronomy and space science programs for school groups, family audiences, and scout groups
  • Foster partnerships with NASA, professional astronomical observatories, and commercial space flight corporations to bring new astronomical discoveries, and space flight technologies to LSC
  • Develop and facilitate teacher professional development workshops for K-12 teachers aligned with the New Jersey State Learning Standards in Science (Next Generation Science Standards)
  • Work collaboratively with LSC program sales division to maximize planetarium school program revenue
  • Work collaboratively with LSC External Affairs to develop successful grant funding proposals to advance the astronomy programming and exhibitions
  • Collaborate inter-divisionally on developing and producing creative solutions that serve to strengthen LSC’s brand, mission, and revenue
  • Initiate an amateur astronomy club based at LSC to expand community outreach and provide volunteer help for planetarium special event programming such as lunar eclipses and public telescope observing sessions
  • Develop and oversee the planetarium budgets
  • Other duties, as needed

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Three or more years of digital planetarium operation experience
  • Strong project management and time management skills, including the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, delivering on budget and within deadline
  • Track record of successful grant writing for funding planetarium initiatives
  • Track record of successful planetarium program development
  • Understanding of current trends in astronomy and space science education
  • Excellent communication, public speaking, and interpersonal skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in astronomy, physics, science education, or a related discipline. Equivalent professional experience will also be considered.
  • 5+ years of experience working in a planetarium setting
  • Experience with an E&S Digistar projection system and the numerous programs for this system
  • Experience in K-12 astronomy and space science curriculum development with preferred alignment to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • Experience managing planetarium show production including script writing, soundtrack development, visual selection, and animation rendering.
  • Experience and training in video production and presentation is desirable
  • Expertise in planetarium technology maintenance is an asset, but not required
  • Preferred Professional Experience

  • Active member of regional, national, and international astronomy professional educational organizations
  • Experience developing and implementing teacher professional development programs
  • Experience writing planetarium show scripts
  • Supervisory Responsibilities

    The Planetarium Director will manage, coach, and evaluate a staff of full-time, part-time, and volunteer planetarium educators with the goal of establishing an environment where the highest standards of program presentation are espoused.

    Work Schedule

    The Planetarium Director is a full-time, exempt position. Occasional Saturday, Sunday and evening hours will be required as needed for event programming.


    This position will require occasional travel.

    Work Environment

    Liberty Science Center is located in a beautiful state park in Jersey City, New Jersey, with easy access to free parking, the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and the NJ Path train. All employees have access to an on-site café, a terrace with stunning NYC views, and on-site yoga.

    Physical Demands

    The physical requirements described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The ability to work for long periods of time at a computer is required. The ability to lift 30 pounds and to perform repetitive motions is required. This position also must tolerate noise and extensive public speaking, often in noisy environments.


    Liberty Science Center provides generous benefits for all eligible employees, including:
    • Medical, dental, and life insurance
    • 403(b) basic retirement plan with an outstanding employer match
    • 15 days of vacation (increases to 20 days after 4 years) plus federal holidays
    • Unlimited sick leave
    • Long-term disability coverage
    • Flexible spending accounts (pre-tax income for eligible health and/or dependent care expenses)
    • Commuter benefits (pre-tax income for mass transit expenses)
    • 20% discount for staff in the LSC store
    • 20% discount in on-site cafeteria
    • On-site yoga for $12/class
    • To apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter highlighting your interest in and qualifications for this specific role. If you advance in the interview process, you will be asked to submit a sample planetarium-based school lesson that incorporates Next Generation Science Standards plus a sample planetarium show script. APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 19, 2017 11:59PM.

    Have you liked this post? Subscribe to FDDB Newsletter

    Start the experience!
    Not yet registered?
    Sign up now, it's free!