OP20 Embracing the Dark: Light Pollution and Our Health

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Friday May 29

2:00 PM  –  3:30 PM

Embracing the Dark: Light Pollution and Our Health 

Instructor: Stephan Martin

Three sessions: Fridays, May 29 and June 5, 2 - 3:30 p.m.; Friday, June 12, 9:30 - 10:30 p.m.

$65 member | $75 non-member

NC EE Criteria II credit

BRN Elective credit - 3 hours


For over a century, we’ve been lighting up the night with artificial lighting. Until recently the dramatic impact of light pollution on wildlife, human health, and the environment has been largely underestimated and poorly understood. In this class, we’ll discuss the importance of nighttime darkness and the many ways it’s necessary for the natural world and our physical, mental, and emotional health. We’ll also explore ways to mitigate the effects of light pollution in our homes and local environments and discuss strategies for making our homes more “dark friendly,” thereby improving our health, saving money, and benefiting the environment. For our third and final session on June 12, join a virtual observing session to discover some of the spring stars and constellations. We’ll also make observations for the Globe at Night (https://www.globeatnight.org/) citizen science dark sky challenge, in which user-submitted data helps astronomers and other dark-sky advocates evaluate the impact of light pollution on dark skies around the world.       


Instructions for joining via Zoom will be included in your confirmation email following registration. 


Stephan Martin is an astronomer and educator who has taught astronomy at colleges and universities across the U.S. for more than 25 years. He has lectured on light pollution and its effects on the environment and has offered stargazing and introductory astronomy workshops domestically and internationally. He was formerly the supervisor of the Williams College observatory, where he participated in research expeditions around the world to study and observe solar eclipses.


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