Las Cumbres Observatory

Please contact Lisa Storrie-Lombardi,, with your questions.  

Las Cumbres Observatory’s global, robotic telescope network was custom-built specifically for time-domain astronomy. Our 25 robotic telescopes provide instant access to the sky in both hemispheres. Catalyst Fellows will join a unique environment that is a public/private partnership conceived from some of the best ideas at companies like Google and Apple, but in an academic setting consisting of in-house scientists and engineers, who also work closely with UC Santa Barbara scientists. LCO staff are highly active in the Rubin Observatory LSST science community and lead global science collaborations in which postdocs actively participate. Our staff scientists lead a diverse range of research into the characterization of explosive transients, tidal disruption events, and gravitational waves (Andy Howell); exoplanets and microlensing (Rachel Street); and Solar System astronomy, particularly Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) and comets (Tim Lister). All of our scientists have established multi-national networks of collaborators. Postdocs also benefit from training in professional software development, through active collaboration with LCO’s software engineers, critical in exploiting the big data from LSST. Mentoring support is also provided by LCO Observatory Director Lisa Storrie-Lombardi, KITP Director, and Chair of the LCO Board of Directors, Lars Bildsten, and 10 other faculty members in the Astro group at UC Santa Barbara. LCO participates in an active outreach program, co-sponsoring Astronomy on Tap in Santa Barbara with UCSB. Postdocs can also look to Wayne Rosing, the LCO founder and a former Vice President at Google, for both his technical expertise and life experience in management at Apple, Sun, and Google. 

In LCO’s supportive atmosphere, post-docs are not only assigned a single mentor but work within teams where cross-discipline collaboration is strongly encouraged. This is enhanced by strong links with external institutions, fostering co-mentoring and networking. LCO offers its post-docs a wealth of resources, including Science Grants and time on the LCO 1m network. Post-docs have autonomy and can try innovative ideas, attend science meetings of interest, and facilitate collaborations.  They are encouraged and trained to lead independent proposals for grants and telescope time. Post-docs also have the opportunity to gain teaching experience, co-mentoring students and interns, and are encouraged to partner with LCO’s professional software engineers, providing outstanding training that is valuable for astronomy, as well as gaining experience in instrumentation and observatory operations. This environment has a proven track record of cultivating strong, independent researchers who have gone on to become Einstein, Sagan, and Hubble Fellows as well as Faculty and Senior Research positions. We maintain strong links with a large number of institutions around the world, and have a particularly strong relationship with UC Santa Barbara, whose graduate students are often mentored at LCO.  

See the LCO website for information about the observatory:

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