Posts by Ilima Loomis

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.

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Solving a solar mystery

Sunbeams — what a drag. That’s the conclusion of physicists trying to solve a longstanding mystery: why the sun’s surface rotates more slowly than its inner core. The team argues that energy radiating outward from the sun pushes back slightly as it is expelled, providing just enough resistance to put on the brakes. The hypothesis…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Two years after shutdown, California oyster farm remains a community hot-button

Conventional wisdom has it that oysters are one of the most environmentally friendly animal proteins. Not only do bivalve shellfish require no nutrients or marine ingredients to be added to the water, as filter feeders they actually clean the water column, removing pollutants and impurities to reduce turbidity. So when one of California’s oldest oyster…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

A catalog of Hawaiian star names

You don’t find many linguists at the International Astronomical Union’s General Assembly, the world’s largest annual gathering of astronomers. But at last August’s event in Honolulu, John Kaipo Mahelona was there. He’d co-authored the definitive catalog of Hawaiian star names and knowledge, Nā Inoa Hōkū, the culmination of three decades of research with co-author Rubellite…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Business break-ups

Whether parting ways with a troublesome client, letting go of a contractor or splitting from a partner, ending an important business relationship can feel as stressful and difficult as a “real” breakup. The blending of close business relationships into personal friendships can make a split even more painful. Compounding the possibility of hurt feelings are…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

“China’s Relentless Campaign to Pave the Coast”

From Holland’s famous dikes to the construction of New Orleans on a former swamp, humans have a long history of “reclaiming” flooded coastal lands for their own purposes. But in recent years, as the value of wetlands has been better understood, the trend has been moving in the opposite direction, with increasing protection for coastal…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

My first byline in Discover

Buff and mahogany swirls and starbursts form distinctive patterns on the shells of hawksbill sea turtles, once common in tropical oceans worldwide. But their numbers dropped because demand for jewelry, hairpieces and other ornaments crafted from their shells made them one of the most widely trafficked species. Now, those same shells can provide critical information…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Where were the whales?

Each fall, Pacific Ocean humpback whales migrate from their summer feeding grounds near Alaska and Russia to the warm waters further south. In these places, the whales spend their winters finding mates, breeding, and giving birth to and rearing calves conceived the previous winter. Or, they normally do. This past winter, the whales, by and…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

“Cool Jobs: Getting to know volcanoes”

In my latest “cool jobs” story for Science News for Students, I profile a vulcanologist who studies magma, an infrasound scientist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, and an atmospheric scientist at the University of Hawaii who helps predict the spread of vog. Read the full story here.