Nick is a Support Scientist working on the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) team, and is currently the deputy lead of the COS user support block. He is leading the effort to improve the geometric correction for the COS FUV detector, with particular attention given to lifetime position 4 (LP4), the location on the detector where most science spectra are obtained at present. Nick has been a member of the COS team since July 2016, when he first arrived at STScI.
Prior to working at STScI, Nick was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan and an assistant research scientist at Johns Hopkins University. He also taught introductory astronomy as an adjunct professor at Henry Ford College.
Nick's research has primarily focused on the use of high spectral resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio observations in probing physical conditions in the interstellar medium (ISM). To this end he has led several observing programs, utilizing facilities from the sub-mm wavelength regime (ALMA, IRAM 30m), to the mid-IR (SOFIA), to the near-IR and optical (VLT, Keck, Subaru, Gemini, Magellan). Nick is most interested in using the abundances of molecular ions such as H3+ and OH+ to probe the ionization rate of hydrogen due to cosmic rays in the ISM. He is using this method to construct a picture of the cosmic-ray ionization rate, and the underlying cosmic-ray particle spectrum, throughout the Milky Way galaxy.
PhD in Astronomy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
BS in Astronomy, Case Western Reserve University
Research Topics: Star Formation, Histories, and Evolution; Interstellar Medium; Astrochemistry, Chemical Abundances; Cosmic Rays
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8533-6440