Assistant Manager, Planetarium Programs – California Academy of Sciences – San Francisco, CA

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every one of the qualifications for the position.


The Assistant Manager of Planetarium Programs is responsible for hiring, coaching and supervising a team of planetarium presenters including the Planetarium Programs Specialist, Senior Presenter(s), and Planetarium Presenters I and II who work on the Morrison Planetarium team delivering public programming. This position is responsible for high-quality visitor engagement, education, and outreach on science topics with a special emphasis on astronomy. The Assistant Manager also creates, implements, and presents astronomy and natural science content for Morrison Planetarium and other venues in the Academy. In addition, this position is responsible for coordinating with other departments to integrate programming initiatives, to develop partnerships internally and externally for effective program delivery. The position reports to the Senior Director of the Morrison Planetarium and Visualization Studio.

The Academy is an organization committed to cultivating a culturally inclusive environment where diversity of thought and expression are valued, respected, appreciated and celebrated. We believe in creating a culture where all individuals feel respected, are treated fairly, provided work-life balance, and have an opportunity to excel. Our vision at the Academy is that every team member uses their unique experiences and backgrounds, together, to generate ideas that will allow us to realize our mission to explore, explain and sustain life.


Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable persons with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Oversee training, professional development, performance management, and supervision of planetarium presenters and volunteers
  • Schedule and coordinate with other departments, including Guest Experience, Security, Public Programs, and Teacher and Student Engagement, among others, to ensure that a staff member is always ready and able to give shows for every scheduled show in all venues, stepping in to present shows if necessary
  • Provide feedback and presentation skills coaching to presenter staff, leading by example
  • Hire planetarium presenters, including writing and updating job descriptions, working with HR and leading the hiring team through the recruitment process beginning to end
  • Meet regularly with Guest Experience to coordinate efforts related to the planetarium
  • Present planetarium shows for the public and special audiences—e.g., school groups
  • Deliver one or two program shifts per week, provide backup coverage as needed
  • Develop, design, and implement new and existing programs, including presentations in the planetarium, portable dome, and Hohfeld Hall presentations, in collaboration with the Assistant Director and Senior Director
  • Oversee personnel and visitor experience and scheduling operations, as well as internal policies of Morrison Planetarium
  • Coordinate public-facing presentations by planetarium presenter staff, including creating the daily and weekly schedules for the team
  • Delegate tasks and projects to the presenters, in consultation with Senior Director and Assistant Director
  • Oversee the presenter staff budget and manage labor pool to ensure delivery on budget
  • Manage calendar for planetarium and other venues, coordinating with the Senior Producer of Immersive Media, the Experience Engineering team, and staff in other Academy divisions
  • Act as contact for onsite staff on weekends, holidays, and as needed
  • Market planetarium programs in collaboration with the Assistant Director, Teacher and Student Engagement team, Marketing Department, and Public Programs
  • Present astronomy and natural science presentations in other venues as needed
  • In collaboration with the Assistant Director, support special events—e.g., Astronomy Day and outreach activities
  • Maintain strong partnerships with cross-departmental and cross-divisional teams
  • Communicate effectively with fellow staff and maintain a positive work environment
  • Support other division-wide initiatives
  • Follow all Academy safety regulations
  • Other projects and duties as assigned


Applicants must be available to work at least one weekend day, some holidays, and some evenings, and will be expected to deliver at least one program shift per week, as well as providing backup coverage.


The qualifications listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required or preferred.


  • Post-secondary degree or certification in a natural science or physical science (astronomy strongly preferred), science education, or similar, with broad knowledge of other sciences, or equivalent work experience
  • Three years’ experience presenting in planetariums (and operating planetarium systems), museum education, or astronomy public outreach
  • Three years’ experience creating content for planetariums or other media-rich digital environments
  • A minimum of one year of experience in project management
  • Experience supervising staff or volunteers on project-based work involving public programming
  • Basic photo editing and digital asset management experience preferred


  • Ability to delegate and train others to meet department goals and project deadlines
  • Proficiency in MS Office and Google suite (on a Mac or a PC platform)
  • Excellent astronomy and broad-based science knowledge and rigorous attention to scientific accuracy
  • Working knowledge of planetarium systems, tools, and software (OpenSpace, Uniview, Digital Sky, Digistar, or SkyExplorer required)
  • Working knowledge of planetarium projection and lighting and audio systems
  • Adept at supporting technical troubleshooting in potentially stressful situations
  • Excellent presentation skills and fundamental knowledge of the best practices in interpretation
  • Enjoy working with the public
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals; ability to write routine reports and correspondence
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and projects simultaneously
  • Ability to perform repetitive motions 50% of the time


The physical expectations described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential duties of the position of this job. Ability to work safely in both outdoor and indoor environments that may include stairs, uneven paths, ladders or lifts, and secure access areas. The position requires presentation in a tiered theater and frequent visits to the museum public floor (walking on concrete floors, climbing a flight of 35 stairs in the planetarium, working a low-light-level environment), extensive time standing, intervals of time outdoors in varying environmental conditions, tolerance of high levels of noise, and extensive public speaking, sometimes in noisy environments.

May 3, 2021 5:00 PM PST. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.


Please submit a resume and complete the brief online application.

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensuring that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, place of birth, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, height or weight, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.


Click Here To Apply

%d bloggers like this: