Updated: 24 March 2020

Kathy L Cooksey

Current Position:
Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy,
College of Natural & Health Sciences, University of Hawai'i at Hilo

Research Interests:
I research the large-scale gaseous structure in the universe to understand how various elements cycle in and out of galaxies, over cosmic time. As light from bright, distant objects traverse the universe, intervening gas clouds—between, around, and in galaxies—absorb the light at wavelengths characteristic, albeit redshifted, of the chemical elements in the clouds. By identifying and modeling the elements associated with absorption-line systems, we learn about how gas is processed through and dispersed from galaxies.
("Elevator pitch" using only words from the 1000 most common available here, a la the XKCD Up Goer Five comic.)

I have a Google-Slides "e-book" (slide is the illustration and notes are the text) on the observational technique: quasar absorption-line spectroscopy.

  • Ph.D. Astronomy & Astrophysics, UC Santa Cruz, September 2009
  • M.S. Astronomy & Astrophysics, UC Santa Cruz, June 2005
  • B.S. Physics, Valparaiso University, Indiana, May 2003
  • Beavercreek High School, Ohio, June 1999
I would love to be playing soccer but... knee problem. So, I like running and hiking. On the more sedentary side, I crochet and watch anime.

Catwalk at Las Campanas Observatory.
Having a little fun in the 40 mph winds (May 2012).
Photo by Amanda Zangari.

Spring 2020 General Weekly Schedule

(Online instruction began Mar 23. Office hours via Zoom (meeting ID in Syllabus); also try random times like an "open office door.")

09:00−09:50 PHYS170-001 Research Day
(maybe around
but hiding)
09:00−09:50 PHYS170-001 09:00−11:00 Office Hour 09:00−09:50 PHYS170-001
  11:15−12:15 Meeting      
  Research Day
(maybe around
but hiding)
14:00−16:00 Office Hour     14:00−15:00 Meeting (occasionally)
    15:00−16:45 PHYS170"R"
    15:30−16:45 PHYS170"R"-001