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IDA 2017 Annual General Meeting

The 2017 AGM in Boston brought IDA supporters, members, and chapter leaders together with more than 40 speakers from around the world. Experts, advocates, artists, and night sky enthusiasts of all stripes shared their success stories, cutting-edge research, case studies, questions, concerns, and passions for protecting the night. Topics of discussion covered technology advances, award-winning lighting design, effects of artificial light on wildlife, human health concerns, policy approaches, night sky festivals, diversifying our mission for greater success, a final session looking to the future–and so much more. Spend some time with our recorded sessions to be part of this exciting event.

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Friday, November 10

Inspiring Change in Your Community 1: Success Case Studies
Friday, Nov 10 | 1:45 - 3:15 pm | Belvidere Ballroom

Moderated by

Ken Kattner

Distinguished Panel Members


Susan Harder, IDA New York
Susan Harder joined IDA over twenty years ago and is the New York State IDA Chapter Leader and a Legacy Member. An IESNA trained lighting designer, she has assisted dozens of communities enact outdoor lighting ordinances, starting by refining her own town’s lighting code in East Hampton. She is a Board member of the local Observatory and helped establish an observatory park in Montauk, Long Island.

Cynthia Lapp, Starry Skies Lake Superior
Trained in human ecology and studio art and with a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture, Cynthia is a partner in a design-build firm that specializes in custom residential and commercial projects. In her local IDA Chapter, Starry Skies Lake Superior, Cynthia handles communication, event coordination and design.

Diane Knutson, IDA Rapid City
Diane Knutson created the Lights Out Movement in Rapid City, South Dakota. Originally from Nebraska, Diane Knutson graduated with a Bachelors of Science from the University of Nebraska and a Masters Degree from the University of Iowa. Previously, Diane worked as a National Park Ranger at Wind Cave National Park.

Ruoyu Li, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation Dark & Starry Sky Committee
Ruoyu Li is an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona. He has been an important and active participant with the IDA Beijing Chapter and the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Fund's Dark & Starry Sky Committee. Loving astronomy and starry skies, he enjoys the effort of giving the dark back to the night.

Inspiring Change in Your Community 2: Success Case Studies
Friday, Nov 10 | 3:30 - 5:00 pm | Belvidere Ballroom

Moderated by

Kelly Beatty

Distinguished Panel Members


Debbie Moran
Debbie Moran is a former violinist with the Houston Symphony and lifelong amateur astronomer. She succeeded in getting her subdivision to be the first within city limits allowed to install fully shielded decorative streetlights. Her battle to move Houston away from 4000K LED street lights is still in progress.

Glenn Heinmiller, LAM Partners Architectural Lighting Design
Glenn is a principal at the lighting design firm, Lam Partners. He chairs the IALD Energy and Sustainability Committee, managing IALD’s contribution to standards and regulations. He is a LEED AP and served as a USGBC Subject Matter Expert on Light Pollution. Glenn is NCQLP Certified, and a Fellow of the International Association of Lighting Designers.

Bob Crelin
Bob Crelin is the Inventor of the GlareBuster, Author of “There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars”, and a pioneer developer of countless municipal and state outdoor lighting laws. A Walter Scott Houston Award winner for his work changing policy and perceptions regarding light pollution, Bob is also an award-winning designer and inventor.

Susana Malón, Lumínica Ambiental
Susana Malon has a degree in Physics and Physics of Excellence by the Official Association of Physicists, Master in Environmental Engineering and Master in Astronomy and Astrophysics. For more than 13 years she has been working in the field of public lighting, energy efficiency, light pollution and protection of the environment and night sky in her home country of Spain.

Saturday, November 11

Emerging Technologies Revolutionizing the Nightscape
Saturday, Nov 11 | 9:00 am - 10:15 am | Belvidere Ballroom

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Moderated by

Chad Moore

Distinguished Panel Members


Nancy Clanton, Clanton Associates
Chad Moore holds degrees in Geography and Earth Science and has a longtime interest in the beauty and science of the night sky. He led the National Park Service Night Skies Program from 1999 to 2015, has published papers on light pollution measurement and night sky inspiration, has co-authored IDA guidance on Dark Sky Parks and Reserves, and is currently the chair of the IDA Technical Committee.

David Mitchell & Jason Sheng, Lumican
David Mitchell is the founder and CEO of Lumican Corp., a North American Clean-Tech Company manufacturing products for Commercial LED lighting and energy efficiency. David’s approach to a market begins with identifying a problem then creating a solution based approach. Biomimicry and light pollution are the stimuli for innovation of disruptive product development.
Jason Sheng, Ph.D of Biology from the University of Texas, is the founder of LEDi2 in Houston, Texas. Jason is passionate about developing new LED lights that reflect and enhance the beauty of the environs with zero interference to human and animal life forms. Jason works closely with Scientists of variety and background to understand the unique challenges that new-age lighting brings to the planet, constantly obsessing over solutions.

Adam Carey, Elumenarti Pty Ltd
Adam Carey is a Member of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) as Director for Standards and Advocacy for the Society. He a leading street lighting technical advisors to IPWEA as part of the Street Lighting Smart Controls Program in partnership with the Australian Federal Government. He was the former CEO of Citelum Australia, author of the Sunshine Coast Lighting Masterplan and is now a Director for lighting design consulting firm Elumenarti.

Craig Bernecker, Parsons College
Associate Professor of Lighting Design at Parsons College

Policy and Enforcement that Matters
Saturday, Nov 11 | 10:30 - 11:45 AM | Belvidere Ballroom

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Moderated by

Susan Harder

Distinguished Panel Members


Matthew Schelly, Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Matthew Schelly is currently the Director of Community Development (Planning, Code Enforcement, and Building Inspections) for the City of Elizabeth City in rural northeastern NC. Previously, as a Community Planner in PA, he worked with several of his small suburban and rural communities to write local outdoor lighting ordinances.

Jessyn Farrell
Jessyn Farrell, J.D., is a Washington state leader in building public consensus on difficult issues related to transportation, land use and the environment. With over 20 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors Jessyn emphasizes listening, creative-thinking and data-based decision-making to find solutions that meet community objectives. A former state legislator, Jessyn advocated successfully with the Washington State Department of Transportation to study the impacts of light pollution and develop solutions for state highway facilities.

Jonathan Burgess, PLA | LEED AP ND & BD+C WELL AP | FGBC Designated Professional Vice-President of Sustainable Operations | The Spinnaker Group
Jonathan Burgess, LEED Fellow, is a licensed Landscape Architect and Vice President of Sustainable Operations at The Spinnaker Group, a premiere green building consulting firm with both private and public sector projects that span the globe. Jonathan and his team have helped inform the design of over 120 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building projects here in the US and internationally. He is also a WELL AP with experience in designing buildings and communities focused on human health and wellness.

Christina Crowder, Hamden Low-K LED Alliance, Connecticut Low-K LED Alliance, Whitneyville Progressive Action Network (WPAN)
Christina is a local activist and advocate working to make citizen voices a part of municipal conversations about street lighting and LED transition in the coverage area of United Illuminating (Avangrid) in Southern Connecticut.

Human Needs in the Built Environment
Saturday, Nov 11 | 2:00 - 3:15 PM | Maverik A

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Moderated by

Glenn Heinmiller

Distinguished Panel Members


James Fischer, Zoological Lighting Institute
James Karl Fischer Ph.D. founded and functions as the Executive Director of The Zoological Lighting Institute, a charitable organization dedicated to animal welfare and wildlife conservation through photobiology research support. He also founded The PhotoDiversity Film Festival, held at WeWork Locations and the American Museum of Natural History.

Stephen Goldsmith, University of Utah
Stephen is an Associate Professor and coordinates the Urban Ecology program in the Department of City and Metropolitan Planning. As planning director during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, he produced an international symposium titled, The Physical Fitness of Cities: Vision and Ethics in City Building. He is Director of The Center for the Living City, an NGO whose purpose is to promote increased civic engagement among people who care deeply for their communities.

Suzan Tillotson, Tillotson Design Associates
Suzan has practiced lighting design for 36 years. She has won over one hundred lighting design awards, including Lighting Designer of the Year at the 2017 Lighting Design Awards in London. She has taught lighting to graduate-level architecture students at Princeton and lectured at many conferences and universities including Cornell and McGill.C

Steven Lockley, Harvard Medical School
Dr Lockley is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Neuroscientist in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor in Psychological Sciences at Monash University. He has 24 years of experience in light and circadian rhythm research and has published more than 150 original reports, reviews, chapters and editorials, and recently co-authored Sleep: A Very Short Introduction. Dr. Lockley continues his research with funding from NASA, NIH and others.

Views from Abroad
Saturday, Nov 10 | 2:00 - 3:30 pm | Belvidere Ballroom

Moderated by

Andreas Papalambrou

Distinguished Panel Members


Rod McConnell, President, Alberta Dark Sky Association - Light-Efficient Communities Member: The City of Edmonton Light-Efficient Community Policy Committee Member: The Edmonton Light-Efficient Community Coalition
Rod McConnell has been active in the creation of Light-Efficient Communities in the province of Alberta through the creation of free educational materials ranging from print to video. He has also been instrumental in the design and development of a special LEC-Compliant luminaire which will minimize light waste, trespass and pollution.

Bob Mizon
Bob Mizon has been coordinating the British Astronomical Association’s Commission for Dark Skies since the early 1990s. Its current priorities are the curbing of over bright and blue rich LEDs, promotion of protected dark sky areas and convincing the UK government that only regulation, not guidelines, can stem the tide of wasted light.

Fernando Avila-Castro, IDA México
"Fernando Avila was born in Nogales, Mexico. Has a B.Sc, and M.Sc. in physics. His work experience includes being a teacher at college level for over 10 years, science popularizing in public talks, press, tv and radio. He also worked at a public astronomical observatory for six years in the city of Hermosillo. Since 2012 works at the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional of UNAM, in the Oficina de la Ley del Cielo (Dark Sky Law Office)."

Dr. Sibylle Schroer
Dr. Sibylle Schroer is scientific coordinator for research about light pollution at Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Germany. She holds a PhD in agricultural science and has been working for the University of Florida, USA, the German Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, and the Christian-Albrecht-University in Kiel.

Factors that Motivate Change
Saturday, Nov 11 | 3:45 - 5:00 PM | Maverick A

Moderated by

Mary Adams

Distinguished Panel Members


Nancy Clanton, Clanton Associates
Nancy Clanton is president of Clanton & Associates, a lighting design firm specializing in sustainable and regenerative design. Nancy is a registered Professional Engineer, and a member of the National Academy of Science committee on the assessment of solid state lighting. Nancy received the IDA Hoag Robinson and Dark Sky Defender Awards, ACEC Colorado Outstanding Woman Engineer and the International CleanDesign Award.

Michael Marlin, Luma: Art in Darkness, Massachusetts
For fifty years Marlin has pioneered the field of arts and entertainment. His show about light done in the dark has appeared at performing art centers on 5 continents and 45 states. "By giving people the experience of the dark and the joy found therein people are inspired to take action in their communities to protect that resource." Lumatheater.com

Michael Paolucci, Slooh
Michael is an internet media pioneer having founded several startups, including 24/7 Real Media, Inc. He is founder and CEO of Slooh, a worldwide community of people peering into space together. Michael holds patent US 7,194,146 B2, a method for computer image processing of telescope-received camera images of celestial objects. Michael is an avid blue water sailor, enjoying the darkest of skies at sea.

Richard Stevens, UConn Medical School
Richard Stevens received a B.S. in Genetics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a cancer epidemiologist and Professor at the University of Connecticut Medical School. His research has focused on body iron and risk of cancer, and then beginning in 1987 on the potential role of electric lighting in causing circadian disruption leading to increased risk of breast cancer in women.

Understanding Society’s Fear Of The Night And How To Address It
Saturday, Nov 11 | 3:45 - 5:00 PM | Maverick B

Moderated by

Connie Walker

Distinguished Panel Members


Dr. David Blask, Tulane Center for Circadian Biology
Dr. David Blask is a Professor of Structural and Cellular Biology and Associate Director of the Tulane Center for Circadian Biology and Co-Leader of the Circadian Biology Group. His research is on the circadian/melatonin disruptive effects of light at night on cancer growth, progression, metastasis, metabolism and signaling.

Dr. James Lowenthal, Smith College
Professor of Astronomy at Smith College.

Harun Mehmedinovic and Gavin Heffernan, SKYGLOW Project
Harun is a co-founder of SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM and a regular photography and film contributor to BBC Earth. His work has been featured by Vogue Italia, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time, and NPR, among others. Currently, he is completing a Leonardo DiCaprio-produced feature documentary for HBO.
Gavin's night sky timelapses have been featured on many press outlets worldwide, including TIME, NatGeo, CNN, and WIRED. Gavin's SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM light pollution initiative with Harun Mehmedinovic has brought great awareness, with millions of views and videos featured by rock legends The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters.

Jonathan Burgess, PLA | LEED AP ND & BD+C WELL AP | FGBC Designated Professional Vice-President of Sustainable Operations | The Spinnaker Group
Jonathan Burgess, LEED Fellow, is a licensed Landscape Architect and Vice President of Sustainable Operations at The Spinnaker Group, a premiere green building consulting firm with both private and public sector projects that span the globe. Jonathan and his team have helped inform the design of over 120 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building projects here in the US and internationally. He is also a WELL AP with experience in designing buildings and communities focused on human health and wellness.

Sunday, November 12

Intentionally Diversifying Our Community for Greater Success
Sunday, Nov 12 | 9:00 - 10:15 AM | Belvidere Ballroom

Moderated by

Diana Umpierre

Distinguished Panel Members


Katherine Blake, Audubon Connecticut
Katherine Blake is the Bird-friendly Communities Manager for Audubon Connecticut. She manages Audubon’s Urban Oases, Schoolyard Habitat and Audubon at Home Programs. She works with numerous and diverse partners in creating bird friendly communities in Connecticut schools, parks and yards. Katie has a Master’s in Conservation Biology from Antioch University New England and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke College.

Jessica Dwyer, University of Utah's Center for Science and Mathematics
Jessica Dwyer supports teachers at the University of Utah's Center for Science and Mathematics Education – after leaving conservation biology work for a decade-long career teaching science in Title 1 schools. Jess sees the defense of the dark as an essential ingredient building a just, ecologically situated citizenry.

Mary Stewart Adams, Headlands International Dark Sky Park
Mary Stewart Adams is a star lore historian, storyteller and author who has been immersed in the history of star knowledge for over 30 years. She is the Program Director at Headlands International Dark Sky Park.

Mark Walters, Sierra Club Florida Chapter
Mark Walters, a Jamaican native, is Sierra Club Florida Chapter’s Chair, member of Sierra's Diversity Steering Committee, the Sierra Miami Outings Chair, a leader within Miami’s Inspiring Connections Outdoors program, and former co-chair for Sierra’s Diversity Council. He’s a research lab manager at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Open Forum: At 30 Years, What Does the Future Hold for IDA?
Sunday, Nov 12 | 10:30 - 11:45 AM | Belvidere Ballroom

Moderated by

Lauren Scozafava
Paras Pirzada

Distinguished Panel Members


Terry McGowan
Terry is a lighting engineer/designer and heads the consulting firm, Lighting Ideas, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been a life member of the IDA since 2002. Terry has served on the IDA Board, Research Committee and helped establish Geauga Observatory Park as a Dark Sky Park.

Leo Smith, IDA Northeast
A dedicated dark sky advocate, prior IDA Board Member, and current Leader Chapter Leader, Leo Smith has been a valuable voice in the dark sky community. He served on the Model Lighting Task force, a joint project between IDA and the IES, and has been involved with legislative actions around lighting in and around his home state of Connecticut.

Jim Dougherty
Jim Dougherty is an environmental lawyer who since the 1970s has opposed dirty energy sources and defended wildlife and wild places. He is a member of the Sierra Club’s Board of Directors and served on the International Dark-Sky Association's Board of Directors from DATE to 2017. He first joined IDA in 1997.

Chad Moore
Chad Moore holds degrees in Geography and Earth Science and has a longtime interest in the beauty and science of the night sky. He led the National Park Service Night Skies Program from 1999 to 2015, has published papers on light pollution measurement and night sky inspiration, has co-authored IDA guidance on Dark Sky Parks and Reserves, and is currently the chair of the IDA Technical Committee.

Megan Albaugh Bonham
Megan (pronounced Mee-gan) is a PhD Candidate in the sociology department at Northwestern University. She studies human relationships with the natural environment, especially the night sky, and she helped administer last year’s IDA Member Survey.






Thank you for an Amazing 2017 Annual General Meeting!

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