Posts by Ilima Loomis

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“Mirror delivered to giant solar telescope despite Native Hawaiian protest”

Trucks carrying the primary mirror for the world’s largest solar telescope advanced past a line of protesters in the early morning hours on Wednesday, delivering it to the top of Haleakalā, the 3055-meter summit of Maui. Just after 4 a.m. Hawaii time, several people were arrested in a peaceful demonstration that suddenly turned confrontational. Read…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

“Trees in the Amazon make their own rain”

The Amazon rainforest is home to strange weather. One peculiarity is that rains begin 2 to 3 months before seasonal winds start to bring in moist air from the ocean. Now, researchers say they have finally figured out where this early moisture comes from: the trees themselves. The study provides concrete data for something scientists…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

“House of the Sun”

How did the world’s largest solar telescope rise on the summit of Maui’s Haleakala volcano, while another major telescope was derailed by protests an island away? I explored the politics and culture behind Hawaii’s telescope debate in this feature story for Science magazine. Read the full story here.

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

“Satellite Observations Could Help Forecast an Eruption’s End”

Developing a method to predict when a volcano will erupt has long remained out of reach. Less studied, but also important for public safety, is forecasting when eruptions will end, a feat that has proven equally elusive. Now researchers are using satellite data to test a 1981 theory that lava flow–forming eruptions follow a predictable…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Update on TMT

After months of testimony, a former state judge has recommended that Hawaii officials provide a key permit needed to start construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) atop Mauna Kea. It’s a step back on track for the project, which has drawn fierce opposition from Native Hawaiians and was placed in limbo in late 2015 as a result of a decision…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Science-based first aid for jellyfish stings

Pack tweezers and vinegar in your beach bag — and, no, don’t pee on it, say scientists. Read my story for Hakai magazine here.  

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

An invisible role for women in fisheries

Nearly half of all fisheries workers worldwide are thought to be women, yet much of their work—and their catch—goes undocumented and unnoticed. That is the finding of a group of researchers who are studying the role of women in fisheries across five countries. In Mexico, Peru, Senegal, South Africa, and Vietnam, women do much of…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Growth of aquaculture in Mexico

To see the future of aquaculture in Mexico, set aside that crystal ball and gaze into a bowl of ceviche. From shrimp to tilapia to catfish to trout, it’s not the export market but a homegrown hunger for seafood driving much of aquaculture’s growth in Mexico. With a population of 122 million people devouring an…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Using math to find ET

Searching for aliens may sound like science fiction. Yet for many scientists, it has become serious business. Here we meet three who are using math in their quest to find other living beings in our universe. One is calculating the likelihood of finding life on other planets. Another is trying to figure out where best…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

If we could talk to the aliens …

Ever been to a party and wondered why no one was talking to you? That’s kind of how SETI scientists feel — but on a cosmic level. For more than half a century, astronomers have been listening to space. They use powerful radio telescopes, hoping to pick up signals from civilizations in distant space. They…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

FLSA salary rules

Hawaii companies are scrambling to comply with a federal rule that doubles the minimum pay for salaried employees to $47,476 a year. It takes effect Dec. 1, and many companies still don’t know how they will cope. An estimated 57,000 salaried workers statewide are affected because they are currently making less than the new minimum.…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Thank you!

My article “Change Agents” was named one of Hawaii Business magazine’s top-10 stories of 2016. Read the complete list here.