Student Jobs

All astronomy graduate students (and physics students working in the Astronomy Department) share in some of the various duties that keep the department going. At the beginning of each semester the Small Council Rep holds a meeting of all of the graduate students and jobs are assigned (if you don't attend, you might not like the job you get).

The rules regarding jobs are

  • Everyone must have at least one job, except…
  • Students in their final year are presumed to be too busy writing to take a job (they have “immunity”)
  • First Year students get Colloquium Projectionist
  • Second year students get Colloquium Tea
  • Students not in attendance at the jobs meeting may send an email request to the organizer

For reference, the previous year's job-holders are found here: 2020-21 Student Jobs List

The job descriptions below should include:

  • What the job entails
  • How much time and energy it requires.
  • How many and which students should hold it

Also note that the Chair requests that a rough summary of all grad-student-led events that need funds for the year be given to them in the Fall.

The Jobs:


Social Justice

  • Racial Justice Bookclub – Currently Open
  • Respect is Part of Research Rep; Facilitators – Emily Ramey; Maude Gull, Jamie Sullivan

Outreach & Services

  • Prospective Visit Planning – Massimo Pascale, Jacob Pilawa, Jackie Blaum, Hannah Gulick, Kenneth Lin, Natalie LeBaron, Olivia Aspegren, Savannah Cary
  • Ay 375 GSIs – Caleb Harada
  • MPS Scholars Program – Natasha Abrams, Nick Choksi, Kiran Eiden, Maude Gull
  • Graduate Student Mentors – Aliza Beverage, Nick Choksi, Natasha Abrams
  • Outreach Coordinator – Tyler Cox, Natasha Abrams, Emily Ramey, Eli Wiston
  • Astro Night Coordinator – Savannah Cary, Natalie LeBaron, Daniel Brethauer, Natasha Abrams, Sergiy Vasylyev
  • Wiki Wrangler – Emiko Gardiner, Jacob Pilawa
  • SWPS Rep – Erika Strasburger, Emiko Gardiner
  • Queer Grads Coordinator/s – Aliza Beverage, Caleb Harada, Kiran Eiden
  • POWER Bay-Area Coordinators – Andrea Antoni, Emma Turtelboom, Aliza Beverage, Natalie LeBaron, Anna Pusack, Emiko Gardiner, Olivia Aspegren

Talks, Teas & get-Togethers


  • T-shirts – Anna Pusack
  • Coming up with more (remote?) fun things? – Currently Open
  • Ski Trip – Sergiy Vasylyev, Natalie LeBaron, Emily Ramey
  • Social Hour Coordinator – Aliza Beverage, Caleb Harada, Anna Pusack
  • Sierra Conference – Jackie Blaum
  • Board Game Night – Anna Pusack, Daniel Brethauer, Natasha Abrams
  • Movie Night – Daniel Brethauer, Eli Wiston
  • Grad cabinet snacks – Anna Pusack

Some Jobs that are On Hold

- Nothing currently in this section!

The Job Descriptions

Note: currently out of date.


The department projectionist makes sure that the weekly colloquium speakers can project their talks. This involves getting and setting up the projector (if there isn't one already in the room where the talk is to be held), ensuring the speaker is setup with a microphone before the talk, maintaining the laser pointers, and asking the speaker at tea if there's anything they need. (Note: the laser pointer requires 1.5V alkaline batteries, NOT rechargeable batteries (they don't have enough voltage). You can use the alkaline batteries in the bag). The projectionists should also bring an extra projector (and assorted equipment, if available) to colloquium. Finally, it is the responsibility of outgoing projectionists to train the incoming projectionists. This requires weekly work (just before colloquium) and is usually held by two first year students per semester.


This is a very big job requiring the combined efforts of at least three, if not four, students, though the workload is somewhat dependent on how many students are admitted (and how many of those choose to visit) - which is unfortunately something we don't know until the spring.

The department sends out its offer letters for Spring admissions typically in early February. As soon as this occurs, at least one member of the hosting committee needs to e-mail each one of them, inviting them to come visit and providing travel and visitation information, offering to answer questions, etc. - that is, generally serving as the primary representative of the department before their visit. Once students begin making travel arrangements, the committee has to be sure to keep careful tabs on everyone's arrival and departure dates, and ask/beg/plead the other students in the department to serve as hosts during their stay and provide transportation to and from the airport. The prospectives' days must also be planned out in advance, including faculty meetings (this means contacting faculty to arrange visits) and perhaps a handful of fun activities, such as a visit to SF. When the students arrive on campus, the committee is in charge of making sure the plans are actually executed as planned, including making sure all hosts are aware of the schedules of their prospectives. Meals are usually not planned well in advance (except the occasional special meal such as a women's lunch), but someone on the committe should be in charge of recruiting students ahead of time for each potential meal, making sure that there are neither too many nor too few current students coming along to talk with the new prospectives.

This large role breaks down into numerous smaller roles, including:

  • E-mail liaison - in charge of contacting prospectives before and after their visit to arrange travel plans and answer any early or late questions. This is probably the largest sub-job.
  • Night host planner - in charge of recruiting night hosts and making sure students get there on time.
  • Transportation planner - in charge of making sure students get to and from the airport.
  • Faculty liaison - in charge of contacting faculty to arrange meetings with students and working out the students' schedules.
  • Meal planner - in charge of gathering students for lunch and dinner (and, often, handling reimbursement for those meals.)
  • Activity planner - typically a dispersed job that everyone pitches in for.

Typically, an effort of this size also requires one person to be designated as being the master planner as well, in addition to any lower-level responsibilities.


Every Tuesday at 3:30 the department gathers to eat baked goods in the lounge. The TAFT Czar does NOT provide the food (perhaps excepting the first day of the semester). The Czar merely wrangles OTHERS to do it and emails them the day before to remind them to do it or has a robot do it. One lucky student per semester gets this cushy job.

Grad Student/Post Doc Seminar (GSPS)

Each week, traditionally on Friday afternoons, we host an hour-long seminar that's explicitly open to only graduate students and postdocs (including visiting students or postdocs), but is not open to any faculty. The idea is to create a space where we students / postdocs can come together and share ideas, practice presentations, and build a community among ourselves without the stress / inhibitions / et cetera that comes along with the involvement of full professors. You can certainly invite undergrads to the seminars as well, if there's interest.

The long-standing tradition is to schedule one grad student and one postdoc to each give a short presentation with time for questions after each. The GSPS coordinator's job is to make sure we fill up the schedule of presenters, maintain the web page with the talk schedule, announce the seminar each week over the student and postdoc email lists and make sure attendance stays healthy, introduce the speakers each time, reserve the room, and be a host for the event. In the fall, it's a good idea to sign people up for the whole fall semester plus January; then in January, sign people up for the rest of the spring. (Also in the fall, try to get the email addresses of new postdocs to contact them as well, because they often have just arrived and aren't on the postdocs list yet but are interested in giving talks.) People sometimes like to go out for beer afterwards, and in some past years there have been funds for beer and snacks. Please see the GSPS web page for more description/motivation of the seminar series.

Graduate Assembly Delegate

The Graduate Assembly is the arm of the student government specifically dedicated to graduate students. It receives graduate student fees and distributes them to various worthy projects around campus, including providing money for graduate students to attend conferences. The undergraduate student body, ASUC, technically represents graduate students as well, but is dominated by undergraduates (and, historically speaking, petty party politics and bickering). If you're used to ineffectual student government, the GA may surprise you. To be the GA rep, you must serve on a GA or campus committee, such as the New Building Committee (so whoever holds this job might want that one, too, since they have to serve on a committee, anyway). Committee time requirements can be as low as a few hours per month. The GA meets once a month for 2-4 hours and provides food. Your main duties will be to attend the GA and committee meetings and keep the other grad students apprised of goings on. Astronomy is allowed one GA delegate as well as an alternate, who may also be a committee member (not required) and can only vote if the delegate is not present.

Association of Graduate Student Employees Steward (Union Rep)

Educate! Agitate! Organize!

The United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2865 is the union representing over 12,000 Academic Student Employees - Tutors, Readers, and Teaching Assistants - at the nine teaching campuses of the University of California. As for all employees, wages, benefits, workload, grievance procedures, and fair hiring processes are important issues of concern for graduate and undergraduate students working at the UC. Through the Union, we have the right to bargain with the UC over our working conditions and to have a say in the policies that affect us.

The Berkeley unit of AGSE represents the larger number of students in the UC system and it is part of the UAW Local 2865. The AGSE/UAW Berkeley meets once a month for ~2 hours and usually the topics are contract enforcement and outreach updates. Sometimes the job is more exciting like awakening consciences of regular citizens about an specific proposition (i.e. trying to reduce the budget for education; attacks on human rights like sweatshops or criminalization of 5 year old kids or some other nonsense propositions supported by some pathological politicians… ).

The meetings are held in the UAW 2865 Berkeley office at 2372 Ellsworth Street. Time requirements can be as low as a few hours per month. Your main duties will be to attend the meetings and keep the other grad students appraised of goings on. The annual meeting to discuss the strategies to reinforce the contract to pursue quality education is very instructive and fun. Someday all humans will have universal and free quality education.

Mentoring System Master

The Mentor Master oversees the mentor system; look at that page or the detailed list of duties for more details. This job should be passed on in June rather than August. In late June/early July, the Mentor Master asks students to volunteer to act as mentors to incoming students, then (with input from the previous year's prospective hosting committee) pairs volunteer mentors with mentees. The Mentor Master holds a mentor/mentee kickoff lunch for incoming students the day before the Graduate Division's orientation, and a similar lunch for second-year students a few weeks into the school-year. Through the rest of the year, the Mentor Master's responsibility is to keep track of significant events in first- and second-year's schedules (e.g. upcoming 201 midterm, choosing next semester's classes), and send appropriately-timed reminders to the mentors to make arrangements to meet with their mentees. The Mentor Master checks in with mentees at the end of each semester to make sure the pairing is working, and also acts as back-up mentor if a mentee needs “menting” and their mentor is unavailable.

Outreach Coordinator

The outreach coordinator's main job is to run and organize the two biggest public outreach events the department participates in, Bay Area Science Festival (at AT&T Park in San Francisco), and Cal Day (UC Berkeley campus). This involves handling the logistics with the actual event organizers, and gathering volunteers to help. Note, Astro Night is now so large it has it's own coordinator, but the Outreach Coordinators can also help with the Astro Night coordinator as needed.

There are many other smaller outreach events throughout the year that the outreach coordinators organize, depending on availability and interest (of both the department and the public). Some examples include but are not limited to public talks at the Berkeley Public Library, elementary school department visits, and talks to Bay Area astronomy clubs.

Anybody in the department can come up with outreach events beyond the regularly scheduled ones– Astro Night began this way. The outreach coordinators are more than happy to help members of the department advertise and organize the outreach events they want to host.

[NOTE: This position used to be Public Liaison. As of 2019 we no longer have the “Ask and Astronomer” page on the website so we generally don't receive these types of requests anymore. Old job description: The de facto job of the public liaisons is two-fold. Firstly, the liaisons are contacted by whoever staffs the front desk of the department whenever a visitor calls (in person, by phone, or through e-mail) and asks to speak to an astronomer. This includes the media, grade school students, meteorite finders, curious callers from Sweden and, best of all, lunatics. The liaisons are given total authority to deal with these callers as the liaisons see fit. The second task is to handle any requests from the small percent of faculty who know about the liaison position. Some of our more visible faculty get more requests for interviews, class projects, and talks than they care to address, and some of these faculty will e-mail the liaisons to deal with these concerns. These can be dealt with by anything from a short phone conversation to an annual half-day field trip for a horde of 5th graders. Often the liaisons are also involved in other Public Outreach on behalf of the Astro Dept. This includes being part of Science@Cal, heading our department's Cal Day activities, finding people from our department to speak to amateur astronomy clubs in the area, etc. Basically the liaison are in charge of all public outreach aspects of the Department. Prospective undergrads and grads who visit the department may also get sent to the liaisons (though prospectives looking to go into the undergrad program should probably be forwarded to the Undergrad Liaison and prospectives looking to go into the grad program should probably be forwarded to the Hosting/Admissions Reps according to which semester it is).]

Social Hour Coordinator

Every week we have Astronomy & Physics social hour, typically on the 6th floor of Campbell Hall, where we enjoy great weather, company of fellow grad students, and inexpensive beverages. As a result, the astronomy social hour coordinator is a very important position. As you may have noticed, Campbell Hall access is tightly regulated, so you are essential to ensuring that this event can occur on the best balcony on campus. You are also responsible for procuring beverages and setting up and cleaning up social hour. You will work closely with three physics social hour coordinators, as set-up requires multiple pairs of hands. While it is nice if you have a car, it is by no means a requirement, as you only really need 1-2 cars among the 4 coordinators. Traditionally this position is filled by first-year students, as it provides a great opportunity to meet some of your fellow graduate students in the physics department. Another perk of the job: as social hour coordinator, you do not have to pay for your beverages.

Ski Trip

The department ski trip is an annual weekend-excursion usually held in January, February or March. The destination usually alternates between North and South Lake Tahoe. The primary activities are downhill skiing and snowboarding; some people often go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing as well. The responsibilities of the organizers are:

  • select a weekend (taking input from the department)
  • reserve cabins (usually 2 near to each other) for Friday and Saturday nights (Thursday as well, if there's interest) (for two nights, this can usually be done for ~$50 per person)
  • look into discounted lift tickets (e.g. Albertson's, REI)
  • plan (or delegate planning) meals: cooked dinners on Friday and Saturday nights, and food for people to make their own breakfasts and lunches on Saturday and Sunday
  • buy (or delegate buying) the food
  • look into subsidy from the department (talk to the Chair and to Sue Wells); usually $500, which can cover the food
  • organize rides

Sierra Conference

The Sierra Conference has a rich and storied history dating back to 1968. It began as a somewhat legitimate conference for California astro grads by California astro grads, featuring invited speakers, poster sessions, three course dinners, and live bears. Over the years it became more of a casual camping trip designed to “encourage collaboration and networking within the astronomy community in California.” As cliched as the wording is, it definitely strikes a chord: building a network and community of other left coast astronomers by enjoying the fun and beauty surrounding us. Unfortunately the event became only lightly attended and was abandoned in ~2015.

Thankfully it was revived in the past year thanks to a grant from UCSC and a multi-campus team of organizers. The Sierra Conference has been restructured to serve specifically the UC astronomy graduate student community, featuring a more balanced mix of recreational and scientific activities. In addition, discussions on grad student life, department climate, and the UC astronomy community are held. Notes from the past conference can be found here (this will be a link eventually). The past conference had 12 attendees from 7 UC's but is looking to expand to ~30 attendees from all 8 UC's with astronomy departments. It is generally held near the end of the Summer just before the start of classes so that first years might attend as well. The Sierra Conference will most likely continue to take place in Sequoia National Park as it is conveniently located for both northern and southern UC's.

At minimum, the UCB Sierra Conference coordinator will serve as the point person for the Sierra Conference at Berkeley. This entails advertising the event and planning the logistics of attending (i.e. arranging transportation, camping equipment, and food for the Berkeley contingent). However, it is preferred that UCB Sierra Conference coordinator also participate in the planning of the event which is done in collaboration with organizers at the other UC campuses (via Slack). This can include raising funds, scheduling and booking a campsite, designing an abstract booklet, leading discussions, and contributing to the longevity and long-term goals of the Sierra Conference.

A separate, updated Sierra Conference wiki/webpage in the works but here are some links to old Sierra Conference info. Here is the quick and easy guide to an awesome Sierra Conference. Also there now exists the Sierra Conference central page, with info on current/past/planning stuff for sierra conferences. There is a link for this page off of the start page of the badgrads wiki.


Our department has a glorious but inconsistent tradition of creating UC Berkeley Astronomy Department themed t-shirts and selling them. Though this job is a good one and department schwag is awesome and fun, the below job description should be considered extremely flexible and open to each new volunteer's personal interpretation of the job. The overall plan is that, once per year, the T-Shirt coordinator runs a design call (write up a design brief, get department input) for T-shirt designs. You then need to coordinate with Brandye, Brianna, Maria, and the UC branding team to find designs that fit the UC-mandated requirements. From there, run a competition in the department to decide on the new design. Brandye will then set up a shop for the winning design with approved vendors, and you just need to remind people to order and pick up shirts.

Cosmic Gardener

The cosmic gardener is in charge of the rooftop garden. The primary responsibility is watering the plants every few days. Watering only takes ten minutes, but since it happens multiple times a week, the job is actually quite time-consuming. Longer-term responsibilities include occasional feeding and pruning of plants, and maybe someday harvesting a lemon. For information on garden history and care of individual plants, visit the “the cosmic garden” page. The gardener should have easy access to the roof; knowledge about what makes plants happy is a plus.


SWPS (Society for Women in the Physical Sciences) is a resource for Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students in the physical sciences (physics, astronomy, geology, planetary science, and related fields). The goal is to create a friendly and supportive environment in these departments for all students and to particularly encourage women and minorities. SWPS offers workshops, networking opportunities, social activities, outreach projects, and “survival guides” for undergraduate majors.

SWPS Rep serves as one of the three primary SWPS coordinators, who oversee the many activities that SWPS participates in, including their mentoring program, community outreach programs, and large social events. As the Astronomy Dept. SWPS coordinator, you are responsible for organizing one SWPS dinner per semester, keeping the list of Astronomy female grads, postdocs, and undergrads up-to-date, advertising SWPS events in the department, and helping with the organization of other large SWPS events as much as possible.

Since this job can be a large time commitment, SWPS typically provides an honorarium of $200/year, although this is not guaranteed.

For more information, see the SWPS webpage.

Small Council Rep

The small council was created in Fall 2015 by (the then-brand-new department chair) Eugene Chiang. The small council is a group of people who work to keep lines of communication open between all of the different occupants of Campbell Hall.

Each major component of the department is represented by at least one person. The group meets all together with the department chair more-or-less monthly to talk about department-wide issues, disseminate information, and share issues of concern. As of 2015/2016, in addition to the chair, the council included the faculty member responsible as the head grad student adviser, the faculty member responsible as the head undergrad student adviser, an undergraduate major, a post-doc, and someone from the administrative staff.

The responsibilities of the Small Council representative are to attend these meetings, to present the discussions from those meetings to the rest of the graduate students when they are relevant to the whole student body, and to act as a conduit of information and discussion between the students and the others at the small council meetings. This job replaces the Faculty Representative job.

The Small Council representative is also tasked with running the yearly Fall Jobs meeting (see the old Faculty Representative description for some advice on how to do that). It is a responsibility of the chair (and the head graduate advisor) to choose a student that will take on this role. (It's not like the other graduate student jobs in this regard.)

Department Climate Adviser

This involves meeting with the Climate Committee usually at least once a semester to stay up to date on how the department is in terms of accessibility, issues that may need addressing, and any new initiatives to coordinate or sponsor. The faculty liaison usually initializes the meeting times, but it is important for representatives from all department levels (UG, G, PD, faculty, and staff) to be involved and present.

Faculty Search Rep (ad hoc)

When the department holds a search to hire new faculty, a graduate student is selected by the faculty to serve on the Search Committee.

Undergraduate Liaison

The Undergraduate Liaison acts as an advisor and mentor to the undergraduate astronomy majors, especially in helping them get involved with and complete research projects and apply to grad school. Throughout the year, the Undergraduate Liaison should visit the undergrad lab, make a concerted effort to get to know the majors, and update and maintain the Astronomy Undergraduate Research Resources (AURR) webpage. The undergrad liaison should also work closely with Amber Banayat regarding events for undergrads; our responsibility lies more on informing undergrads about academic career paths, whereas Amber and the university are more in charge of industry career paths. In general, the undergrad liaison should stay on top of general undergrad/grad student mentoring opportunities, for example, the monthly UAS-sponsored undergrad/department lunches. A rough calendar of other major duties follows:

  • Late August: Congratulations, you've just scored this position at the grad student jobs meeting! The first things you need to do are send an email to introducing yourself, visit the undergrad lab to meet students, and sign up for the Office of Undergraduate Research newsletter here. This ~monthly newsletter will keep you informed of research info sessions and research program due dates, which you can pass on directly to the majors or use to update the AURR page.
  • September: Together with the undergraduate faculty advisor, organize a research symposium once or twice a year (good times are the beginnings of the semester, early September and late January). Advertise to both the faculty and postdocs looking for undergraduate students.
  • Early/Mid September: Hold an “Applying to Grad School” night for the majors. Get 3-4 first or second year grad students to serve as panelists, and start a discussion about the General GRE, Physics GRE, letters of rec, the essay, where to apply, etc. Distribute copies of practice Physics GREs, which you can get from the previous Undergraduate Liaison. Order pizzas for this event; the department will reimburse you. Make sure to inform the students in Astro 7A about this event; many of them are transfer students who haven't yet declared the major but will do so in the subsequent spring. Also, it seems that holding the event earlier in the school year leads to better turnout.
  • Fall or spring: Along with UAS, organize a GRE workshop for junior and senior undergrads. This can cover the format of the test, study tips, and a discussion on the evolving role of the GRE in grad applications.
  • December: Organize and hold an “Applying for REUs” night for the majors. Bring in majors who have already done an REU or other research project to talk about their experiences. Point the students to the AURR webpage to find information about REUs and other research opportunities. It is also a good idea to bring an example CV and discuss how an academic CV should look.
  • Late January: Together with the undergraduate faculty advisor, organize a research symposium once or twice a year (good times are the beginnings of the semester, early September and late January). Generally, the beginnings of the fall/spring semester are better than the end of the spring, since many advisors may not be able to pay undergraduates, so the best strategy is to give course credit for research. Advertise to both the faculty and postdocs looking for undergraduate students.
  • Spring: Amber Banayat will organize a career panel. This is mostly industry focused, but it may also benefit from having grad students and postdocs to allow undergrads to compare and contrast academic and non-academic careers. The undergrad liaison should therefore recruit a grad student and postdoc to serve on the panel.

Wiki Master

The Wiki Master is in charge of the BADGrads wiki. They should bother others to keep the content of the wiki up to date. See the page on wiki administration for more information. The most important task of the Wiki Master is to help make user accounts for people. DokuWiki knowledge is useful too, but not necessary. If something goes horribly wrong and the Wiki Master can't figure it out, Bill Boyd can assist.


The librarian is responsible for the books that were once housed in the reading room, and, while we are in HFA, are in the graduate lounge. This means keeping (or putting) the books in some semblance of order, so that people are able to find books when they need them. It also includes maintaining the catalog, and reminding people to return books that have been out for awhile. When the library is in good shape, this is a pretty easy job. When the move to HFA has thrown everything in to disarray, it is fairly time consuming.

Needs updating: in New Campbell Hall the library is transforming into a reading room on the 5th floor.


Ay300 / Ay375 is the pedagogy course for the department. It has been taught by graduate students for almost the last decade. The job holders are responsible for creating lectures, activities, and discussions that convey the fundamentals of how to be an astronomy GSI as determined by the University of California at Berkeley Graduate Council. This job is determined before the jobs meeting. It is the responsiblity of the current Ay300 instructors to find instructors for the next school year. This job receives as 12.5% GSI position if there are two instructors, and a 25% GSI position if you teach the course alone.

2016: description needs updating.

Grad Student / Colloquium Speaker Meeting

Each week, we meet with the colloquium speaker so students can have an informal opportunity to meet the speaker and ask questions about their research and career, or anything else on people's minds. Responsibilities of this job include:

  • Finding a time that works for people to meet. We have tried both before Thursday tea and right after colloquia with some success. If people want to have the meeting before colloquia, try to coordinate with tea preparers, professors, and class schedules to avoid conflict. (In 2011-2012, GSCS was inadvertently scheduled during first-year classes. This is something to avoid – especially because the target GSCS audience is preferentially early-career grad students.)
  • Contact the host to reserve the slot to meet with the speaker, and reserve a room if necessary. An email is usually sent to the department early each week with information about the colloquium and naming the speaker and local host.
  • Email students about the meeting and round them up to attend.
  • Explain to the speaker what the meeting is about and facilitate discussion at the meeting.
  • In 2011-2012, Andrew Siemion and Jacob Lynn attempted a new GSCS format. We requested that grad student RSVP in advance for GSCS on Monday or Tuesday. If at least a certain minimum number of graduate students (3 or so) replied in the positive, we went ahead and held the meeting; if not, it was de-scheduled. This was intended (1) to minimize work on the part of the GSCS organizers, and (2) to avoid awkward meetings with just the speaker and the GSCS organizer(s) in attendance. This strategy worked for point 2, but didn't really work for point 1, because of the hassles involved in getting confirmed RSVPs and also in tentatively scheduling GSCS with the faculty host and then canceling a day or two later. Jacob doesn't recommend this strategy in the future – it's probably best to just automatically schedule it every week, and then personally recruit grad student attendance in addition to the mass email.

This job requires small weekly tasks in addition to attending and leading the meeting for fall and spring semesters, and can be handled by 1-2 students.

Astronomy Career Development Seminar (AstroCDS)

This talk series increases the exposure of UCB Astronomy undergrads, grads, and postdocs to a variety of career opportunities outside academia (any job except R1 university Prof.). Two to three times per semester we invite a UCB alum, who did their PhD in astronomy, to tell us how they got from grad school to their current job. The talk is informal and very interactive. The speaker spends 15-20 min telling us about their path and the remaining 40 minutes is Q&A. Thanks to strong faculty support, especially Eugene, Mariska, Imke, we have funding to cater the event. We bring in food during the last 20 min so we can eat, mingle, and keep the time commitment to 1 hour!

Movie Night Overlord

Movie Night is a semi-monthly gathering with screenings of astronomy or space-themed films and free pizza, snacks, and soda. The primary responsibility of the Movie Night Overlord is to screen a movie every other week (usually in Campbell 131) and send an email to the Movie Night mailing list informing them of what movie is going to be screened. Also, posters are to be made and put up before each movie night, pizza and other food is to be ordered, and reimbursements submitted (food is funded by the department). Further, at the beginning of each semester, a semester movie schedule is be selected, a corresponding semester movie poster is to be created, and the budget for the semester is to be agreed upon with the department.

(As of 2015/2016, a couple of movie nights were organized by various department members throughout the year, going out to a movie as a group, or presenting them with the projector in room 131, or presenting them using the 9-panel display on the 3rd floor. However, the regular movie nights were retired after 2015/2016 and weren't revived until 2018/2019.)

Retired Job Descriptions

These jobs basically don't exist anymore. Such is the way of the world. Their descriptions are kept below in case someone wishes to know more of what used to be, or is inspired to build something new from the rubble of the old.

Colloquium Tea

The big job! Colloquium Tea is a weekly event held in the lounge where the department gathers with the speaker and eats. Colloquium involves a lot of work, including acquiring funds, shopping in the days before colloquium, preparing the colloquium tea, and cleaning up. This job should be held by 3-4 second year students per semester, and at least one of them should own a car.

[*Also note that during years when the department is recruiting new faculty, there will likely be extra colloquia during the Spring semester. Thus extra people should hold the Tea job for semesters with job searches, if at all possible.*]

Department Picnic

Each fall the department has a picnic. It involves grilling some food, lawn games, tug of war and just hanging around outside with colleagues, friends and family. The last few years its been at a picnic spot in Tilden near the Little Farm sometime around the end of September or beginning of October. The tasks involved are:

  • badgering people into attending
  • collecting money from people who will attend
  • buying supplies (water, soft drinks, burgers, chips, cookies, charcoal, condiments, ice, etc)
  • assembling the lawn games (in 2005 we purchased boccie and croquet for the department)
  • coming up with new ideas for activities (water balloon toss has become quite popular)
  • possibly getting prizes to hand out for people who win the activities
  • staking out the picnic site the morning of the picnic
  • running the grill
  • getting tug-of-war rolling
  • cleaning up

As of 2014/2015, the department picnic was fading away. In Spring 2016, the Prospective Visit Organizers/hosts organized a picnic during the time when prospectives were visiting. In addition to the prospective picnic, beginning Fall 2018 this was reincarnated as a department “welcome back” BBQ held in Campbell, after 1 min slides colloquium.

Faculty Representative

The faculty representative runs the grad student jobs meeting, attends faculty meetings (except closed meetings), and brings to the faculty any student concerns that come up. Here is a to do list for the jobs meeting:

  • Get a list of the students who have offices in the department from Sandy. Some people (particularly physics students) may not be on the “students” mailing list. To check, you can look at /adm/users/mail.students which contains all of the e-mail addresses on the list. Physics students are not exempt from jobs.
  • Make sure the meeting is at a time that the first-years can make. Invariably, a few older students won't be able to make it (you should ask for their job preferences in advance), but it's important that the first years are there to hear about the jobs, get introduced to the students, etc.
  • Copy over the previous year's job-holders for reference – that way everyone can easily reference this list when beginning job, when you've already changed the wiki for the new year.
  • Start the meeting with introductions around the room for the benefit of the first-years: name, year, adviser, etc.
  • In the past, the first week of the semester (Mon-Wed, before Thurs tea) has been the best time. If you can get people together in advance, more power to you. If it's close to Thurs, you might want to give the second-years an advance reminder about tea.
  • Ask the department chair if they want to give a short welcome/announcements speech.
  • Ask the department chair if any changes to the jobs are necessary. Getting people to do more after they've already been assigned jobs is difficult.
  • When you send an e-mail to schedule the meeting, it's a good idea to include a list of jobs and their current holders for people's reference, as well as a link to the Wiki. Also, you can ask if any students think the list should be changed.
  • During the meeting, it's worked well to have the previous job holder describe the job that's up for consideration.
  • Remind new job holders to talk with the people who last had the jobs, to ensure important information is passed along!
  • It's nice to bring food. In the past, reimbursement was possible.
  • Once you have a final jobs list, send it to “everyone.”

In 2015/2016, the Faculty Rep job was transformed into the newly-defined Small Council Representative job.