Workforce Development

W. M. Keck Observatory staff is dedicated to engaging students through employment, internships, and mentorships to cultivate the next generation of scientists and engineers. We are proud to work with students from all over the world, but especially our students at home in Hawaiʻi. Our staff is committed to many different projects that benefit Hawaiʻi Island. Our well-supported workforce development programs are perfect all students across disciplines as we offer positions in both STEM and non-STEM fields.

  • High School Student Employment Program: Keck Observatory hires high school student assistants who are interested in gaining real-life work experience. The students work directly with Keck Observatory staff who not only serve as their managers, but their mentors as well.
  • Akamai Workforce Initiative: In an effort to advance Hawaiʻi college students into STEM jobs, Keck Observatory offers summer college internships through the Akamai Workforce Initiative. Keck Observatory has been participating in this eight-week program since 2003, and has offered the most internships with 42 placements to date (2003-2017).
  • Keck Visiting Scholars Program: The Keck Visiting Scholars Program is designed to connect early career scientists to the technology, operation and science of the W. M. Keck Observatory. The program is aimed at graduate students and post-docs seeking to enhance their careers through an observatory hands-on experience working directly with a Keck Observatory scientist. Successful candidates are provided funding to cover travel and accommodation expenses for 4-12 weeks.
  • Kamehameha Schools Kāpili ʻOihana Internship Program: Keck Observatory is grateful to collaborate with Kamehameha Schools to offer positions through their Kāpili ʻOihana Internship Program. This program is designed to provide real-world opportunities to develop transferable skills to college students.
  • Maunakea Scholars: Keck Observatory participates in Maunakea Scholars, an innovative program designed to bring Hawaiʻi’s aspiring young astronomers into the observatory community by competitively allocating observing time on world-class telescopes to local high school students.