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Board of Directors

Ken Kattner, President | USA

Ken is a business attorney specializing in corporate restructurings involving complex legal issues and litigation matters.  Ken holds undergraduate degrees in Finance, Accounting and English. Ken is also an avid amateur astronomer.   From his Putman Mountain Observatory located in the Texas Hill Country, Ken looks at the dark skies above, and the universe beyond, capturing images of far-away supernova and galaxies.  Gaining insight from spending time under the dark, pristine skies of the Texas Hill Country, Ken has learned that preserving the beauty of our night skies is a significant natural resource important to each of us.  That insight has led Ken to help a number of Hill Country cities design and implement lighting codes to promote more efficient, dark sky friendly outdoor lighting.  He has also assisted a number of Texas State Parks obtain designation as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association.  Ken continues to work with a number of cities, businesses, individuals, and advocacy organizations to preserve the dark skies in the Texas Hill Country.

Kellie Pendoley, Vice President | Australia

Kellie Pendoley has been wrestling with the mysteries of measuring and monitoring light pollution in Australia for over 30 years. In her role as an environmental practitioner, she has worked with oil and gas, mining and ports industries, and local councils to minimize and manage their light pollution and to protect nearby marine turtle rookeries from negative impacts of artificial light at night. Kellie’s public service includes memberships on various international and local boards and committees. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science, an M.S. in Oceanography from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Biology from Murdoch University (Australia). Kellie is actively involved in the development of biologically-meaningful light measuring equipment, as well as research to improve understanding of the impacts of light on seabirds and marine turtles. With this knowledge, Kellie regularly provides advice to regulators, engineers and managers towards improving industrial and urban lighting. She routinely publishes in the scientific literature and presents on artificial light at night and associated biological impacts at national and international Symposia.

Kim Patten, Treasurer | USA

Kim has an M.S. in Environmental Planning from the University of Arizona and brings more than 10 years of experience managing projects and programs in conservation, renewable energy, and distributed data systems both nationally and internationally. She has held leadership positions in science organizations, including the Arizona Geological Survey and the International Dark-Sky Association. Her experience includes managing and conducting research on a more than $30 million portfolio, including co-principal investigator on a $3.6 million National Science Foundation cooperative agreement and project manager of a $22 million U.S. Department of Energy funded project. Kim, currently the Assistant Director, Research and Development Services, has a deep seated passion for connecting science and policy. While at IDA she helped organize the first Washington, D.C.-based symposium on the protection of the night sky resulting in a series of congressional briefings before both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

Jessica Cleeves, Secretary | USA

Jessica comes to Dark Sky advocacy circuitously. Initially, her interest in relationships in the natural world inspired her undergraduate work in Conservation Ecology at San Francisco State University, including an NSF-funded research thesis and ongoing field work supporting the Nature Conservancy’s habitat evaluation efforts.  Science is fascinating – and slow to impact policy.  Building an ecologically situated citizenry requires talking to people; hence, Jessica’s Master’s degree from Stanford University in secondary science and urban education.  After a ten years teaching, Jessica joined the Center for Science and Math Education at the University of Utah.  As Academic Program Manager, Jessica teaches, builds curriculum, and trains pre- and in-service teachers in inclusive pedagogy. Jessica’s work improves access for underrepresented groups to academia and nature. Dark Skies advocacy is a powerful angle for Jessica – she finally found a win-win-win ecological issue that invites diverse people and concerns, and offers many entry points for conversation and community organizing.  As the Salt Lake IDA Chapter founder, Jessica looks forward to cementing an urban-centric Dark Sky campaign rooted in ecological equity and broad social inclusion – in the state with a shockingly diverse metropolitan core and the highest number of certified Dark Sky Parks in the world.

Diana Umpierre | USA

Diana Umpierre (AICP, GISP) has over 25 years of experience in urban planning, geography and geoscience in the public and private sectors. She currently works as a grassroots organizer for Sierra Club. She is a Certified Planner and GIS Professional, with a Bachelors in Geology from Cornell University. She is a member of the American Planning Association and several other nonprofit advocacy groups including Audubon and Everglades Coalition. Her experience also includes organizing lobbying and press events and educating others on effective citizen engagement. Her public service has included serving on a National Academies’ Airport Cooperative Research Program panel, her City’s Landscape Advisory Board and her county’s Urban Wilderness Advisory Board. Her passion for grassroots/ public advocacy began with efforts to protect the last remaining natural night skies over the America’s Everglades. She currently chairs IDA’s growing Florida chapter where she works with others to cultivate partnerships to address inland light pollution, improve public access to pristine dark areas and protect threatened nocturnal habitats in FL.  In 2013 she was named IDA’s Volunteer of the Year and in 2016, she helped kicked off IDA’s Grassroots Empowerment Advisory Committee.

Laurel Alyn-Forest | USA

Laurel is Vice President of Your True Nature, a Colorado-based company that creates inspiring and light-hearted “Advice from Nature” products for national parks and other nature stores around the country.  In addition to business management and planning, Laurel enjoys the creative aspects of product creation, marketing, and web development.  Inspiring people to connect with nature on a deeper level is a mission true to her heart.  The company’s “Advice from the Night Sky” series sponsors IDA and encourages people to “stay full of wonder” and “turn off the lights!”  With an educational background in Environmental Economics, Laurel has worked in the realm of environmental consulting and mitigation banking prior to her current role.  Through the medium of singing, Laurel has been an advocate of the environment, with a self-produced, full-length CD of classical songs.

Diane Knutson | USA

Diane Knutson has been a Dark Sky advocate for almost ten years, starting when she was a National Park Ranger.  Since then, Diane has become an entrepreneur and volunteer. 
She has concentrated her volunteer efforts on supporting the Dark Sky.  Recently she founded and is President of the first IDA chapter in South Dakota – forming a nonprofit corporation for that purpose.
 
In 2015 Diane created the first Dark Sky Hour in Rapid City, in cooperation with the City Council, public utilities, local business, and nearby national parks.  It has grown, and she will host the 3rd Annual event in April 2018.  Diane also designed “Luna the Owl” mascots that are available for adoption, with all proceeds benefiting Dark Sky preservation.  Diane has a Master’s degree in Recreational Sport Management from the University of Iowa, and a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education from the University of Nebraska.  Currently she owns and operates a successful Koko Fitness Club. 
 
Diane’s lifelong goals are to protect nocturnal habitat, protect and increase the view of the cosmos, and improve our connection with nature. Diane believes public awareness, spokespersons, and local ordinances are essential to growing the Dark Sky movement.

Alejandro Sanchez Miguel | Spain

Alejandro has been involved in light pollution issues since the mid 1990s and has contributed to over 100 articles, many related to light pollution. He is the leader of “Cities at Night,” a citizen-supported project coordinated with NASA and other space agencies that uses ISS night imagery to raise light pollution awareness.  He earned his PhD from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), with a thesis titled, “Spatial, Temporal and Spectral Variation of Light Pollution and its Sources: Methodology and Results.” He is currently doing his postdoc at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA) and serves as a light pollution advisor to IAA’s newly created Office of Night Sky Quality.  He is an active member of several astronomy and light pollution-related organizations and research networks in Europe, including Cel Fosc (Spain’s association against light pollution) and Sociedad Española de Astronomía (SEA), Loss of the Night network (LoNNe) and STARS4ALL. In 2014, Alejandro received an IDA Dark Sky Defender award for his leadership role in “Cities at Night.”

Board Policy

As a nonprofit organization, IDA deeply values the trust that has been placed in us. Our members and donors trust us to use their contributions wisely. Governments and private entities trust our science and ability to create solutions that protect the night skies, wildlife, humans and the planet. To preserve this crucial trust, IDA is committed to best practices in governance, accountability and transparency. This commitment exists at all levels of the organization.

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