Laboratory Instructor I (Physics and Astronomy)

Laboratory Instructor I (Physics and Astronomy) - POSITION FILLED
Department:  Physics and Astronomy
Date:  05/24/2018


Founded in 1813, Colby is one of America’s most selective colleges. Serving only undergraduates, Colby’s rigorous academic program is rooted in deep exploration of ideas and close interaction with world-class faculty scholars. Students pursue intellectual passions, choosing among 58 majors or developing their own. Independent and collaborative research, study abroad, and internships offer robust opportunities to prepare students for postgraduate success. Colby is home to a community of 2,000 dedicated and diverse students from around the globe. Its Maine location provides easy access to world-class research institutions and civic engagement experiences.

In a period of fast-paced progress, Colby is building on its strong foundation while remaining committed to excellence, to supporting students and faculty at the highest levels, and to the College’s deep liberal arts traditions. This new chapter includes the creation of innovative academic initiatives and partnerships, strengthening the connections between the liberal arts and the professional world, revitalizing downtown Waterville, and pursuing significant capital projects for performing arts and athletics. Colby invites applicants to apply for the position of:


Department of Physics and Astronomy

Full-Time, 10-Month, Exempt, Salaried, Administrative Staff Appointment


The Department of Physics and Astronomy has been allocated a second laboratory instructor with an anticipated start date in mid-August 2018. With this new position, the department will consist of six tenured and tenure-track faculty and two permanent laboratory instructors.

Under the supervision of the Department of Physics and Astronomy Chair and in collaboration with other teaching faculty and staff, the primary focus of the position will be laboratory instruction and technical support for astronomy courses, as well as laboratory instruction for introductory physics courses. The observing facilities at Colby include a new (2016) PlaneWave 0.7 m CDK telescope, a Celestron C-14 telescope and associated instrumentation for imaging and spectroscopy. The astronomy program also uses several 8” telescopes in the introductory laboratory.  

The laboratory instructor will be responsible for preparing laboratory activities and materials, setting up laboratories, directing students during laboratories, assessing student work, and maintenance of the observatory. Typically the laboratory instructor will teach three laboratory sections per semester and have responsibility for setup, operations, maintenance of the observatory and astronomy teaching laboratories, and direction of the observatory for community events.

  • Teach and assess student work for laboratory sections in the 100- and 200-level physics and astronomy curriculum, including evening laboratories
  • Prepare laboratory activities and materials and set up laboratories
  • Day-to-day operations and maintenance of Colby’s Collins and Young telescopes in consultation with faculty
  • Coordinate with Colby’s Science Division Repair Technician, Facilities Services, and Information Technology Services for maintenance and repair of the observatory, astronomy equipment, and associated computers
  • Participate in curriculum development
  • Coordinate with constituencies on and off campus for use of the observatory
  • Follow all department safety requirements
  • Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice
  • Bachelor’s degree in physics or astronomy or the equivalent in education and experience
  • Training in the use of telescopes and image processing software strongly preferred
  • Skills in observational astronomy
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to undergraduate education
  • Highly organized, attentive to detail, and dedicated to the department and the College
  • Commitment to working as part of a diverse team and student body
  • High energy, creative initiative, and flexibility
  • Commitment to working as part of a team
  • Flexibility on work schedule to support the department and teaching programs
This position has significant interactions with faculty and staff, students, and other constituencies, particularly the Instrument Repair Technician, Facilities Services, and Academic Computing.

General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Occasional lifting up to 25 pounds is required. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary.


Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the "Apply Now" button on the Colby College website. Please submit a letter of interest including salary requirements, resume, and the contact information of three professional references. Materials should be addressed to:

Laboratory Instructor I (Physics and Astronomy) - Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8855


If you experience difficulty uploading your documents, you may submit any .doc or .pdf materials to [email protected] Please do not submit duplicate materials.

A review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.
Colby is a private, coeducational liberal arts college that admits students and makes employment decisions on the basis of the individual's qualifications to contribute to Colby's educational objectives and institutional needs. Colby College does not discriminate in its educational programs or employment on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, or military or veteran’s status. Colby is an equal opportunity employer and operates in accordance with federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination. Colby complies with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in an institution’s education programs and activities. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to Colby’s Title IX coordinator or to the federal Office of Civil Rights. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the cultural and ethnic diversity of our college.

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