SP20 Embracing the Dark: Light Pollution and Health

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Friday January 24

9:30 AM  –  12:00 PM

Embracing the Dark: Light Pollution and Health

Instructor: Stephan Martin

Friday, January 24, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

$34 Member | $44 Non-member

Limit: 24 students

BRN Elective - 2 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.  We will also walk around the Arboretum grounds to see the various ways the Arboretum has implemented light-reducing methods and policies and discuss simple ways we can do the same in our homes and neighborhoods. 

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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