20th Annual Meeting Follow-up
Interested in reliving the event?
Thank you to those who attended the
International Dark-Sky Association's
20th Annual General Meeting (AGM)
20th Anniversary Annual Meeting and Conference Reaches the Stars!
Dark-sky enthusiasts of all types convened at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, AZ on June 8–10 to attend International Dark-Sky Association’s 20th Annual Meeting and Conference. Titled “Seeking a Balance”, the conference asked the question of how we can preserve our heritage of dark skies while considering the needs of an expanding population. Over 150 stargazers, leading lighting technicians, and community activists participated in learning sessions on topics ranging from sports arena lighting to satellite imaging to environmental protection in an attempt to find an answer.
LED pioneer Dr. George Craford opened the conference with a keynote address on the advancements and future of this important technology. Human health consequences of artificial light were addressed by Dr. Rubin Naiman, a sleep and dream specialist at the University of Arizona. Dark-sky community building was an especially important theme, with special workshops on sections outreach and education. The tradition of dark skies was celebrated in a speech by Dr. Paul Bogard, editor of Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark, an anthology of nighttime stories, and an address by keynote speaker Timothy Ferris, bestselling author of Coming of Age in the Milky Way and creator of the PBS special Seeing in the Dark, which was screened after his speech. An area of Sonoran Desert surrounding the resort provided an ideal stage to enjoy starry skies with a “star party” on Monday evening, featuring Ferris as special guest.
The conference concluded with a formal farewell to IDA co-founder Dave Crawford, who is retiring after 20 years of dedicated involvement. An awards banquet held Tuesday recognized both Dave and his wife, Board Treasurer Mary Crawford, for their years of outstanding service. New Board Director Chris Monrad presented the first David L. Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award to invaluable volunteer Jack Sales. Jack extended his commitment to dark skies from development of the IDA Web site and involvement on the IDA Board to an active section leadership in California, where he visited many cities to advocate in favor of local lighting ordinances. In 2007 Jack received the Sacramento Environmental Commission Award for “Providing Leadership Toward the Protection and Enhancement of the Environment in the Greater Sacramento Community.”
Executive Director Awards were received by Dr. Duco Schreuder, who has been instrumental in the CIE and in the Netherlands to limit sky glow; INACAP — Instituto Nacional de CAPacitatcion (National Job Training Institute) for their installation of dark sky friendly fixtures which set the example of shielding and glare avoidance near the international observatories in Chile; Milt Roney, who graciously volunteered to offer his vast experience on Capitol Hill after joining the Night Symposium in 2007; Aaron Reid, an exemplary volunteer currently co-leader of the IDA Colorado Section; and Charlotte McGowan, who has assisted with almost every IDA organizational event in the past year.
Sara Davis, 8th grader at Pine Elementary School, received the George & Edythe Taylor Student Award for her project “Star Light, Star Bright”, which attempts to produce a more efficient lamp using red light. Miss Davis’ project has also received a silver medal in the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair in the Environmental Science and Management category.
The Hoag-Robinson Award, named in honor of two pioneers in lighting reform, is given to an individual who has been outstanding in educating governmental organizations, businesses, and the public about the merits of outdoor lighting control ordinances over the past year. The 2008 winner is full time volunteer and IDA European Liaison Officer, Friedel Pas. Friedel introduced IDA to Belgium by including IDA membership with the Belgian group Preventie Lichthinder (preventing light pollution). He is also one of the primary organizers of the Belgian Night of Darkness, which is currently in its 13th year and takes place in early spring. Other entities recognized for increasing public awareness of dark skies were IDA San Diego; Ben Harder, US News & World Report; David Owens, New Yorker; Joe Frannea, IDA Southern Arizona; Susan Harder, IDA New York.
One more designation to celebrate is the recognition of the Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania as the second International Dark Sky Park. Land custodians who recognize the effects of light pollution as both an environmental waste and a cultural loss are in a unique position to preserve the valuable heritage of dark skies.
Passion for IDA’s message is growing as the importance of dark skies emerges in relation to human health, energy savings, the ecosystem, and as a rapidly disappearing natural and cultural heritage. The conference created an opportunity for advocates to partner with pioneers of the most innovative, efficient lighting technologies in the world, opening a necessary dialogue between science and nature. With the continued assistance of supporters dedicated to reducing light pollution, we are starting to achieve a balance after all.
More information on the awards, the speakers, and the conference will be presented in the next issue of Nightscape, the official IDA newsletter.
We would also like to thank our
Sponsors & Exhibitors
Silent Auction, Event & Other Sponsors
Starizona (Star Party Sponsor)
Celestron (FirstScope 60EQ)
Mountain High B&B and Observatory (one weeknight stay, good anytime for one year) Julian, CA
Gordon's Park, Wilderness Retreat & Interpretive Centre, Two nights accommodations for two in the "Stargazing Cabin," situated in the dark sky preserve at Gordon's Park on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada. Valid in June 2008 or June 2009.
Starry Night Lights (A selection of dark sky friendly lighting)
Dark Sky Friendly Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CF15C/DS/U)
Rob Burgess, Terri LaMar and Southern Maine Astronomers - Guided tour of the night sky for up to 12 at Starburst Meadows Observatory, Brunswick, Maine. (includes light refreshments)
LOEWS Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, AZ - Gift Card
Khatodusa - Two SureFire G2 LED Black flashlights, RETRO fitted with Makkoff Device's M60 Cree LED and Khatodusa Lens. Value: $125.00 retail
Olive Garden Italian Restaurant - $30 Gift Certificate
The International Dark-Sky Association would like to thank the speakers for the landmark 20th Anniversary Annual General Meeting and Conference
Keynotes (ordered by schedule):
Tuesday Awards Banquet:
Further Esteemed Speakers and Informational Tracks
Safety & Security:
Lighting, Design & Energy :
Community Participation & Night Sky Inspirations:
Papers & Posters: