• Other • Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information • Science • General Assistance
Photo Courtesy of NPS
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, has one of the few remaining magnitude 8 dark skies in the country. The park has been a focus of stargazing for decades and is becoming well known to park visitors for its nighttime scenery. The program has steadily expanded and is now a robust and professional effort made possible by park rangers, astronomy clubs, and skilled volunteers. Additionally, the park actively manages and promotes dark skies through light pollution education.
The park is seeking qualified volunteers to join us during the summer 2020 season. If you would like to be a part of a fast paced, team-oriented public astronomy program and share the splendors of the night sky with the general public, consider sending your resume. The ideal applicant is gregarious, communicative, self-motivated, knowledgeable, approachable; and a good public speaker. Volunteers will be expected to support the NPS mission. Job will require working with crowds and a diverse public in both independent and team modes.
Primary tasks include preparing for and giving evening stargazing events 1 or more times a month, solar viewing 1 or more times a month, help carefore and maintain the park's solar scope, telescopes, and other astronomy related equipmentand, and assisting with astronomy program logistics. Other tasks include staffing the information desk in the visitor center, roving the park and making informal visitor contacts, short presentations to the public, and miscellaneous duties to support the interpretation division and park activities. Presenting formal evening programs may be an option.
Volunteers are welcome to bring their own equipment, but the park cannot be responsible for damaged personal equipment. Volunteers are expected to gain a good knowledge of telescope operation using a variety of optics and mounts, and basic telescope maintenance. The park does not have a permanent observing facility, so frequent set-up and take-down is required with some moderate lifting.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is located in southern Colorado. The tallest dunes in North America are the centerpiece in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. Experience this diversity through hiking, sand sledding, splashing in Medano Creek, wildlife watching, and more! Daytime temperatures range from 55-90°F while nights drop to 25-55°F. The park is at an average elevation of 8200’, so altitude sickness (shortness of breath, lethargy, fitful sleep), may be an issue for some.
Selections will be made based on:
Lives within the local commuting area
Knowledge of the sky, astronomical equipment, and techniques
Communication skills and experience working with the public
Availability and time commitment
References and other factors that indicate suitability for this particular program.
Resume should include:
List all positions held within the last 3 years
List of other applicable paid work and volunteer experience. For each listing, include a brief discussion of duties, period of work, hours per week, supervisor, and supervisor contact information
List and elaborate on astronomy/stargazing skills
List and elaborate on communication skills
Include 3 references
Include available time commitment
Conditions of Acceptance.
Appointment subject to background investigation and favorable adjudication. Due to new regulations, both fingerprints and pictures are now required.
Valid state driver's license required. You may be required to operate a government (or private) motor vehicle as part of your official duties.
You will be required to wear a volunteer uniform and comply with the National Park Service uniform standards. A uniform will be provided.
You may be asked to work weekends and holidays.
Must be able to walk on uneven terrain and be comfortable working in high altitude locations.
HOUSING & AMENITIES Description: No housing available.