International Dark Sky Places
Interest in our International Dark Sky Places is on the
rise. Learn all about them here.>>
Some of the members of the IDA Tokyo chapter (from left to right): Takahiro
Ueno, Nobuaki Ochi, Fumiki Onoma, Noriko Higashi, Kaoru Mende and Miyuki Miyazawa.
|On December 5, IDA Tokyo had its first general meeting since its establishment in January 2013. Nobuaki Ochi, chapter leader for IDA Tokyo brought together a diverse group of advocates that included lighting designer Kaoru Mende, who also presented at the Noche Zero light pollution conference in Chile; Hide Ozawa, a night sky guide from IDA’s Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve; and animal photographer Rei Ohara, who was featured in the movie Brilliant Darkness. The group discussed public outreach, chapter expansion, and light pollution assessment.|
IDA San Diego
On January 27, 2014 IDA San Diego held a free public forum on light pollution at the Palomar College Planetarium. Presentations were held on light pollution, lighting ordinances, and IDA International Dark Sky Places in Southern California.
Presenters included David Crawford, IDA co-founder; Paul Ericson, former IDA board member and professional lighting designer; Steve Flanders, of the Palomar Observatory; and Sally Theriault, of Borrego Springs Dark Skies. IDA San Diego Chapter Leader Lisa Bruhn presented the chapter’s annual local lighting awards.
IDA South Florida
||In December, IDA South Florida hosted a free public screening of the award-winning PBS film The City Dark. It was followed by a lively panel discussion by officials from the Palm Beach Environmental Resources Management, the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center and IDA South Florida. One of the panelists, Dr. Kirt Rusenko, a sea turtle expert, was featured in the film.
Also, in December, IDA South Florida attended the Big Cypress Swamp Heritage Festival, a celebration of the history and culture of South Florida and its beautiful dark night skies. Chapter members educated attendees about the negative effects of urban light pollution on the Everglades and the value of preserving its dark skies.
In January, the chapter exhibited at the Everglades Coalition Annual Conference. The event was attended by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell; Former Governor and Senator Bob Graham; superintendents from three national parks; and leaders of several prominent environmental conservation groups.
IDA San Bernardino County, California
High Deserts Region played a big role in the September’s 17th Annual Starry Nights Festival, held in Joshua Tree, California. Chapter Leader Tom O’Key was part of the event that included IDA co-founder Tim Hunter, star parties, live video astronomy from the Southern California Desert Video Astronomers, food, music and more.
This was the first Starry Nights event to be held at the new venue provided by the Yucca Mesa Improvement Association. Their community center is located under darker skies than the previous locations, which have been tainted by light pollution of growing urban development.
Volunteers Jack and Beverly Sales represented IDA at many
|IDA California’s Jack and Beverly Sales, along with Curt Barnes, attended the 2nd annual Mt. Lassen Volcanic Park Dark Sky Festival August 9 – 11. The theme again this year was “Half the Park is after Dark.” They set up an IDA display about light pollution and held daily showings of Ian Cheney’s film, “The City Dark,” followed by Q&A sessions. Many visitors and rangers were interested in learning about light pollution and its effects on animal, humans and ecology.
Their presentations were a big hit. Park staff used such terms as "enthusiastically presented," "outstanding contributions," "tremendous passion" and "friendly, helpful and kind."
IDA Dark Skies Northwest
IDA/Dark Skies Northwest (DSNW) chapter leader Dave Ingram reports a significant up-tick of interest in light pollution in the Seattle area. Ingram attributes much of the credit for this interest to buzz created by the recent release of Paul Bogard's new book, “The End of Night, Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light.”
In September Dave was interviewed by Martha Childress, host of the Seattle weekly program,“Where Sustainability Comes Live." Dave used the interview to enlighten radio and podcast listeners about negative impacts of excessive outdoor lighting on the environment, human health, economies of the world, and safety and security. Ingram and the other guest described the efforts of DSNW and IDA to mitigate these local and regional problems and how the Northwest community can get involved.
The program aired on Sept. 13. A podcast of the program can be accessed at http://www.naturalchoice.net/radio.php.
IDA welcomes IDA México. The new chapter is led by Fernando Ávila Castro of Observatorio Astronómico Nacional. Their Spanish-language website on light pollution can be found here: http://leydelcielo.astrosen.unam.mx/index.php/en/
Two of our chapters in Florida merged to better cover local lighting issues. The new chapter on the scene is IDA South Florida.