The Teaching Opportunity of a Lifetime
The Summer Science Program seeks faculty to help inspire tomorrow's scientists.
SSP is a venerable, intensive residential enrichment program for some of the most motivated and academically gifted students in the world --
bright young people who will enroll in highly selective colleges and later go on to leadership positions in science and other professions.
Since 1959 many have cited the program as a major turning point in their lives.
Teaching and mentoring such great students is a pleasure and a privilege.
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.), Douglas Duncan (CU Boulder), and many more.
SSP's design has evolved gradually to incorporate new technologies, but its core curriculum has remained remarkably stable for over fifty years.
On each of two campuses, in Santa Barbara, California, and Socorro, New Mexico, the Academic Director and Associate Academic Director teach students to perform a near-earth asteroid orbit determination from first principles.
Students then use their own observations and software to calculate orbits for their asteroids.
A Site Director provides residential and logistical support. Four Teaching Assistants live in the dorm and have front-line roles in both academic and residential aspects.
Rounding out the curriculum are field trips (to both scientific and recreational destinations) and guest speakers on a wide variety of subjects.
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; our goal is to fill all positions by Feb. 1.
2014 Faculty dates are:
Faculty / Staff Application
- Socorro, NM: Tues June 10 through Thurs July 24 (campus of New Mexico Tech)
- Santa Barbara, CA: Tues June 17 through Thurs July 31 (campus of Westmont College)
Job opening announcement suitable for campus bulletin boards
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
Teaching Assistants are tutors and mentors, assisting students in using astronomical equipment and computers, under the direction of the Academic Director.
They also act as residential advisors, living in the dorm with students, organizing recreational and social activities, under the direction of the Site Director.
Applicants should be upperclass undergraduates, 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 (see link above) to:
Summer Science Program
Richard D. Bowdon, Executive Director
execdir [at] summerscience [dot] org
108 Whiteberry Dr
Cary, NC 27519
voicemail (866) 728-0999