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The Teaching Opportunity of a Lifetime

No ordinary summer job the Summer Science Program is a unique and unusually rewarding opportunity to teach and mentor some of the most promising young scientists in the world. SSP seeks faculty to lead research teams of extraordinarily gifted high school students (rising seniors) in near-earth asteroid observations and orbit determinations.

Since 1959, many alumni have cited SSP as a turning point in their lives, and have gone on to selective universities and prominent careers in STEM fields and other professions.

Over a hundred professional astronomers and physicists have been associated with SSP as a student, faculty, or both, including George Abell (UCLA), Edward Bertschinger (MIT), Nicholas Suntzeff (Texas A&M), Jerry Nelson (UC Santa Cruz), Douglas Richstone (Michigan), Thomas Steiman-Cameron (Indiana Univ.), Alma Zook (Pomona College), Elizabeth Simmons (Michigan State Univ.), Amy Barr (Brown Univ.), and many more.

"Nothing else I've done is as rewarding as teaching at SSP." --Dr. Douglas Duncan, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder

On each of two campuses - Univ. of Colorado Boulder and New Mexico Tech in Socorro - two faculty teach the physics, vector calculus, and observational astronomy required to perform near-earth asteroid orbit determination from first principles and their own observations. The pace is faster than typical college courses. Four Teaching Assistants tutor, mentor, and supervise students outside of the classroom. A Site Director provides residential and logistical support.

All faculty receive salary, housing, meals, and travel reimbursement.

The Summer Science Program is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse faculty and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. (Non-US citizens must have legal permission to work in the US; we cannot sponsor employment visas.) All positions are open until filled.

Faculty are on campus (almost) continuously for 44 days and 43 nights. Dates are:

  • Socorro, NM: Tuesday June 14 through Thursday, July 28, 2016
  • Boulder, CO: Tuesday June 21 through Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016

Faculty / Staff Application

Job opening announcement suitable for campus bulletin boards

Lecturing Faculty

The curriculum includes lectures in celestial mechanics, vector calculus, observational astronomy, introductory programming in VPython, and other subjects according to faculty interest and time available. Lecture outlines and other resources are provided for core material. The Academic Director and Associate Academic Director at each campus divide this courseload according to respective interests. Together they give students sufficient background to perform an asteroid orbit determination using their own observations, measurements, and software. During the spring, faculty participate in hiring TAs and attend a weekend planning meeting.

Candidates should be experienced and enthusiastic teachers at the college level. A PhD in a physical science is preferred, as is experience with observational astronomy. Interested individuals should send a completed application, CV, and statement of teaching philosophy to:

Dr. Douglas Duncan SSP '68, Trustee
Dept. of Astrophysical & Planetary Science, Univ. of Colorado
(303) 735-6141, dduncan [at] colorado [dot] edu

Site Director

The Site Director manages student residential life (behavior, health) and special event logistics (guest lectures, field trips, closing exercises), working closely with the Executive Director, academic faculty, and host campus personnel. Candidates should have 5+ years of experience working with high school students. Some administrative experience is a plus. The position is ideal for an experienced science teacher seeking a change of pace and a chance to work with bright and motivated young scientists.

Send curriculum vitae, application, and dates available to:
Summer Science Program
Richard D. Bowdon, Executive Director
108 Whiteberry Dr
Cary, NC 27519
voicemail (866) 728-0999, info [at] summerscience [dot] org

Teaching Assistant and Residential Mentor

TAs are tutors and academic instructors, assisting students in using astronomical equipment and computers, and with homework, under the direction of the Academic Director. Just as important is their simultaneous role as residential advisors and personal mentors, supervising students in the dorm and organizing recreational and social activities, under the direction of the Site Director.

Applicants should be rising college seniors, graduating seniors, or graduate students, majoring in physical science or engineering. SSP alumni are especially encouraged to apply.

See TA Job Description

Send CV and completed application to:
Summer Science Program
Richard D. Bowdon, Executive Director
rbowdon [at] ssp [dot] org
108 Whiteberry Dr
Cary, NC 27519
voicemail (866) 728-0999