Are you a talented systems administrator, looking for an opportunity to make science films that change the world? Would you like to apply your technical skills to transform how people see their connection to our planet, nature and the cosmos? The Planetarium Production Systems Administrator will play an integral role in the creation of beautiful cutting-edge science content showcased in San Francisco and planetariums around the world. You will design and maintain the infrastructure of our in-house, award winning science Visualization Studio (Viz Studio) comprised of a small team of visual effects artists and engineers creating science visualizations, animations, and fulldome imagery for planetarium programs. This position reports to the Visual Effects Supervisor.

The California Academy of Sciences welcomes people of all backgrounds, identities and beliefs to join us in achieving our mission to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth. We place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the heart of our recruiting efforts and strive to build a culture centered on mutual respect, equal treatment, and the opportunity to succeed.


* Design, implement and maintain complex and high-performance systems to support the Viz Studio: improve network, storage, workstation and render farm infrastructure in support of the science visualization team creating high resolution image sequences and realtime content generated from 3D models, animations, textures and scientific datasets
* Customize workstations for 6-10 Viz Studio artists in Linux and Mac environments
* Configure visual effects software and custom operating system environments
* Identify, negotiate, and collaborate with expert consultants, vendors and Cal Academy staff on long term design, planning and budgeting of future hardware and software infrastructure and cloud-based services
* Design, spec, install and manage equipment. Generate/maintain documentation of systems
* Plan, construct and maintain disaster recovery, backup and archive strategy
* Provide support and coverage for planetarium systems operations and render farm, with periodic night, weekend and holiday shifts

Experience / Skills


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required or preferred. A qualified candidate will possess a combination of the following:

* Linux/Mac systems and data server administration experience: RHEL7 or CentOS 7, macOSX
* Good understanding of TCP/IP networking, ethernet configuration, fiber switches; proven ability to troubleshoot and resolve network issues in a timely manner
* Knowledge of render server, 3D and video production workstation architecture, custom CentOS and MacOSX operating system image testing and deployment
* Comfortable scripting with high level languages (e.g., Python)
* Works well with cross-discipline and cross-departmental teams
* Open collaborator who tracks/shares projects' progress proactively and regularly
* Self-starter with solid problem solving abilities, a willingness to learn, attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and a sense of humor


* Experience working in a visual effects, real-time graphics, science visualization or audio/visual production environment
* Experience with visual effects software (e.g. Houdini, Maya, Blender, Nuke, Adobe CC) and good understanding of 3D and 2D computer graphics and visual effects workflows
* Virtual environments and virtual machines knowledge
* Remote workstation, cloud storage and computing familiarity.
* Job management software experience (e.g. PipelineFX Qube)
* AR, VR or 360 Video experience

About California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.

Morrison Planetarium shows are fueled by cutting-edge scientific data, resulting in stunning visualizations of the latest findings, discoveries, and theories about our Universe. Every star or galaxy a viewer encounters in the planetarium precisely mirrors a real-world counterpart, and when this virtual cosmos is projected onto Morrison's 75-foot-diameter screen, the dome itself seems to disappear, resulting in a uniquely immersive experience.