US-Based Curriculum Developer (Astronomy) - Six-month position

Posting date: 26 December 2019

This position has now been filled.


As datasets in astronomy grow larger and more complex, data analysis and visualization are essential for astronomical research, yet there are few opportunities for astronomers to become experts in data-intensive skills. The Carpentries (formerly Software and Data Carpentry) have a long history of training scientists in foundational computational and data science skills. The Astronomy Curriculum Development Committee (ACDC) has received funding from the American Institute of Physics through the American Astronomical Society to support the development of a data science curriculum for Astronomy. The Carpentries is seeking a six-month part-time curriculum developer (20 hours per week) to work alongside the ACDC to create open-source Data Carpentry lessons for astronomy in advanced Python, data management, and data visualization.

Scope of Work

The successful candidate will be managed by The Carpentries staff and work closely with the ACDC to develop 3-4 self-contained Carpentries-style lessons on predefined topics of data organization, data management, interactive data visualization, and publishing data for longevity and interactivity. The lesson development process will be supported by regular reviews by the ACDC via remote meetings and GitHub project management tools. The lesson developer will present the completed lessons for community review and incorporate feedback. There is the possibility for the lesson developer to teach the lessons at a future national meeting of the American Astronomical Society.



  • Certified Carpentries instructor or similar teaching certification
  • Familiarity with or desire to learn Bokeh or similar Python interactive visualization (e.g., Altair)
  • Familiarity with astronomical concepts equivalent to that gained from an undergraduate degree in astronomy
  • Able to teach advanced topics in Python (e.g., classes and scientific packages such as Pandas and Astropy)
  • Experience working with Git and using open source features of GitHub (e.g., issues, reviewing, pull requests)
  • Excellent written and real-time communication skills


  • Knowledge of astronomical datasets (e.g., Vizier hosted catalogs)
  • Familiarity with or desire to learn cloud application platforms (e.g., Heroku, AWS, Azure)
  • Experience teaching Carpentries workshops or similar
  • Curriculum development experience (ideally collaborative)
  • Experience with reproducible science

Our team values openness, honesty, fairness, and transparency as the keys to fostering trust. We believe that individuals are the most important part of our organisation and our strongest resource. We strive to make decisions that prioritize people first and empower the growth and success of all who are part of our organisation. We value a growth mindset in all that we do and strive to be always improving and evolving ourselves and our methodologies, being receptive to feedback, responsive, curious, and willing to learn.

About The Carpentries

We’re a core team of eleven staff and independent contractors, with a nine person Executive Council. We’re a fiscally sponsored project of the 501(c)3 Community Initiatives. We have a large community of instructors and contributors, and a much larger community of users. We use evidence-based teaching practices to teach the core skills for effective computational and data work, and we promote reproducible research and open science/open source widely. All interactions in The Carpentries community and spaces, both virtual and in-person, are governed by our Code of Conduct.

About Astronomy Curriculum Development Committee (ACDC)

ACDC is comprised of Azalee Bostroem, Rodolfo Montez Jr., Phil Rosenfield, Diane Frendak, Susan White, and Erin Becker. We represent the intersection of astronomers, statisticians, and educators who together recognize the rising importance of data skills to the astronomical community and the scarcity of training resources. We are committed to working with the astronomical community to meet this need with the development of a two-day Data Carpentry workshop curriculum.


This is a remote position with The Carpentries fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives. Compensation will be USD $20-40/hr, dependent on experience.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire. We are not able to offer employment-based visa sponsorship for this position.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Community Initiatives is an equal opportunity employer and gives consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to age, race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, disability or protected veteran status, or any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

To Apply


We will be evaluating candidates on this application alone, you should not submit a cover letter or CV. Please email if you have any questions.

Applications received before midnight Pacific January, 16 2020 will receive full consideration.

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