apache point sunset

Apache Point Observatory R&D Astronomy Systems Software Developer

Apache Point Observatory is seeking a Linux system administrator with software development to join their team. The position's role is to design, build, and support systems for day time engineering and night time astronomical observing at Apache Point Observatory. Sloan Digital Sky Survey, SDSS, announced SDSS-V starting in 2020. This position will be responsible for APO's computer system and network infrastructure, support SDSS-V, and administrate the users computer needs.

The job is a good fit for someone who is looking for a unique and nice work setting and a technically challenging job with a lot of possibilities and responsibilities and a chance to track technology and develop and implement new solutions. Whether you have the experience or not so much, if you like building projects and can handle a lot of responsitilty, if you are inspired by software, Astronomy, and technology, and if you would like a career as part of a team getting on the sky every night, then apply.

Apache Point Observatory is a remote site, near Sunspot, NM, in the Lincoln National Forest in southern New Mexico. The forest provides a number of activities for the outdoor enthusiast. Running, hiking, and mountain biking is just outside the front door.


Design, implement/install, maintain, administer and future-proof APO's computing and networking software and hardware resources, 24/7 high availability systems with real-time security and analysis. Work with others to address problems, implement new instrumentation, systems, and applications. Support for the local Mac users and off site collaborators. Hardware and software resources are as varied as custom embedded, controllers to IOT such as a SIP phone system.

Needed Skills

Hands-on system administration, virtual computer systems, high availability, network management, network and system security, Linux - preferably RedHat, Clusters and KVM, C, Python, Mac OS, technical writing, embedded controllers, hardware debugging, legacy hardware and computer skills.

Other Relevant Skills

Software development, embedded software, VxWorks, RTEMS, FreePBX, Vyatta and VyOS, software modeling language - UML, HTML5, CSS, java script frameworks and node.js applications, Bro network analysis, Splunk, Suricata, security analysis, and Unix application security for web, mail, and repository servers.


Must be able to work at 9500 ft MSL, provide critical support during off-hours, holidays and weekends. Work schedule on site is generally M-F 8-4:30. The observatory web site is https://www.apo.nmsu.edu


Group medical, hospital, life, dental, and disability insurance. State educational retirement, workers compensation, sick and annual leave, and unemployment compensation.

If interested contact Mark Klaene, Site Operations Manager at employment/apo.nmsu.edu

Updated 2018/02/06