Jim Braatz Bio

I am an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, VA, where I work with the North American ALMA Science Center, supporting science being done with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). I am also the NRAO Student Programs Coordinator, responsible for the REU summer student program and other summer internships, the Student Observing Support program, Reber Doctoral Fellows, and NRAO Co-ops.

My research is centered on observations of radio emission, mainly masers, from active galaxies. I am the PI of the Megamaser Cosmology Project (MCP), a multi-year effort that is measuring the Hubble constant based on geometrically-determined distances to megamaser galaxies. The project aims to help understand the nature of dark energy, the mysterious component of the universe that causes the expansion of the universe to accelerate. The Megamaser Cosmology Project also measures gold-standard masses of the black holes that reside in the nuclei of active galaxies.

Education and Employment