System Administrator - Alaska Satellite Facility

Apply now Job no: 515609
Classification:Information Systems Professional 5A
Grade:Grade 82
Work type:Staff Full-time
Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Fairbanks
School/Business unit:UAF Geophysical Institute
Location: Fairbanks
Categories: Information Systems/Technology, Other

Position Summary:

***ALL POSITIONS WITH ALASKA SATELLITE FACILITY REQUIRE US CITIZENSHIP***THIS POSITION IS OPEN TO INTERNAL CANDIDATES ONLY*** The Alaska Satellite Facility is seeking a System Administrator who thrives in a fast-paced environment. ASF promotes, facilitates, and participates in the advancement of remote sensing technologies to support national and international Earth science communities. Recently awarded a $50 million dollar/5 year contract with NASA, ASF will continue to archive synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data from various satellites and aircraft to support researchers as part of NASA’s Earth Science Data and Information System. As one of the leaders of NASA’s investigation of Cloud technologies, ASF is well-positioned to explore new technologies and opportunities. ASF’s System Administrator will design, manage, and implement systems and storage for both on-premise and within our Cloud-based operational spaces.


10Work with management staff to provide technical expertise and assistance with decision making or goal setting.Essential
15Communication: Provide adequate prior notification for planned impacts on normal operations. Provide follow up notification for planned and unplanned impacts to normal operations. Recording and reporting appropriate and timely levels of detail regarding the status of projects and work performed. Providing cross-training to ASF staff. Serve as a technical interface for vendors, scientists, and other staff.Essential
20Sustain the functionality of existing IT ASF systems:: Performing system maintenance, software tuning, installing upgrades, troubleshooting and modifying systems to support existing and/or added features and functionality of ASF software subsystems. Maintaining current technical skills and readily learns emerging technologies while maintaining a detailed functional knowledge of ASF systems. Maintaining security-related documentation, and address security-related decisions and policies to ensure obligatory compliance and IT security-related concerns. Assisting end users regarding IT ASF systems and supported end-user applications. Available periodically for operational systems on-call support for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Control and authorize access to IT resources. Create new documentation and update existing documentation to reflect modifications and existing IT ASF systems.Essential
25Project Management: Coordinating and organizing complex projects with a broad scope to ensure the reliable completion of deliverable requirements in a predictable and timely manner. Utilize resources, tracks project progress and communicates status appropriatelyEssential
30Technical Projects expanding the functionality of existing IT ASF systems include: Performing work on multiple assignments effectively and on time. Performing additions or modifications to operational IT ASF systems with consideration to minimizing impact to normal operations and ensuring maximum reliability of ASF systems. Designing, developing, testing and deploying new systems or significant improvements to existing IT ASF systems. Developing documentation in concert with project development to ensure operational integrity and maintainability of IT systems.Essential


On a day-to-day basis, the System Administrator will ensure ASF’s infrastructure meets demanding operational requirements to archive and distribute more than 11PB of SAR images to users worldwide. As a key integrator of Cloud technologies, this position will drive ASF’s Hybrid data center’s development to support our projected growth beyond 100PB within the next five years. Manage the systems and storage serving our remote Ground Station site, which supports over 1200 satellite downlinks a month from international space agencies and private entities. ASF operates in an Agile/DevOps environment to enable iterative development efforts to address the rapidly changing scientific community’s needs.

The ideal candidate will have strong system and storage administration experience coupled with expertise in as many of the following technologies as possible:

Linux Systems Administration
Virtualization and Containerization
Agile (Scrum, Kanban)
Cloud (AWS, GPC) Administration
Large-scale SAN-, NAS-, and object-based enterprise storage solutions



  • Advanced knowledge of information technologies including hardware and software, network configuration, system administration, database development and administration, data and network security, programming, and system analysis and integration.

  • Expert-level knowledge of analysis, programming, database administration, remote sensing subject matter specialty, security, or engineering.

  • Knowledge of multiple systems and the ability to understand how systems relate to one another.

  • Knowledge of, and ability to combine inter-relationships between disparate problems and formulate situations.

  • Ability to formulate problem resolution.

  • Ability to analyze unusual, non-routine or complex situations and problems and devise alternate strategies for solutions.

  • Expert level and/or advanced technical knowledge of a relevant specialty area.

  • Advanced knowledge of managing enterprise-level technology.

  • Ability to understand the needs of end-users.

  • Ability to deliver results for the organization.

  • Ability to extrapolate abstract business problems into a successfully targeted architecture benefiting UA.

  • Ability to guide and mentor peers on tasks related to their area of expertise.

  • Ability to make decisions on matters of significance and implement these decisions on behalf of the University.

  • Advanced knowledge of policies, standards, and the computing environment.

  • Knowledge of critical systems.

  • Ability to bridge non-IT aspects of an organization with its IT aspects.

  • Ability to understand organizational issues that have far-reaching implications.

  • Ability to successfully resolve conflicting issues.

  • Ability to work in a team environment with developers, testers, and analysts.

  • Effective verbal and technical writing communication skills.

  • Project management skills including organization, prioritization, and budget management.

  • Ability to write and maintain good technical documentation.

  • Cross-platform computer and application skills, including MS Word, MS Excel, and databases.

  • Ability to lead a team as a ScrumMaster or Kaizen project lead.

  • Experience with capacity planning & deploying computer hardware and/or software systems.

  • Expert level experience with testing and release management.

Required Education and Experience: 

  • A Masters degree in information technology, software development, or science research field, or equivalent experience. 
  • 4 years experience in an IT field.

As a public, regional, comprehensive university, UAF is committed to building a culturally diverse and inclusive organization and strongly encourages women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

Application Process:

To ensure consideration, please apply prior to the review date. A statement of citizenship must be included in your resume or cover letter.

This position is only open to internal candidates. To apply for this position, please provide a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references with your application.  Please submit your application no later than 9/16/2020 at 11:55 PM Alaska Time.  The review of this posting will start on 9/17/2020. This posting will be closed once it is filled.

If you need assistance applying to this posting, please contact GI - Office of Human Resources at 907-474-6498. 

Applicants needing a reasonable accommodation to participate in the application and screening process should contact the UA Human Resources office at 907-450-8200.

Term Position:

This position is a term-funded position and is reviewed annually for contract renewal at the University's discretion.

Affirmative Action Statement:

UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:

Background Check:

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Probationary Period:

Pursuant to University Regulation 04.07.020, new employees of the University are employed in an at-will probationary status for the first six months of employment. During the probationary period, employment may be terminated for no reason or any reason. Promoted employees also serve a probationary period with limited rights of retreat.

Public Disclosure Statement:

Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.

University of Alaska is a Drug Free Workplace. University of Alaska is a Drug Free Workplace

Training Policy:

It is the policy of the University of Alaska (UA) that all employees are required to complete training to meet the requirements of the positions they hold, and to complete the required training within a specified period to remain employed at the UA.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact GI HR at 907-474-6498.

Advertised: Alaskan Daylight Time
Applications close:

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