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Awards & Recognition Program

IDA's annual awards

Scott Feierabend, IDA’s executive director, presents IDA’s Outdoor Lighting awards

Every year many volunteers from around the globe show remarkable dedication and initiative in supporting the IDA mission. The IDA awards program recognizes individuals who have given generously of their time to dramatically improve our nighttime environment.

The deadline to submit nominations for awards is October 1. Please send nominations to

To view details about the 2016 award recipients, click here.
To view details about the 2015 award recipients, click here.

The Dr. David L. Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award
The Hoag/Robinson Award
The Galileo Award
The Dark Sky Defender Awards
The Lighting Design Award
The Rising Star Award

The Dr. David L. Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award

Initiated in 2008, the Dr. David L. Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award commemorates IDA Co-Founder and former Executive Director Dave Crawford for his indelible mark on the preservation of the nighttime sky. This prestigious award is presented to individuals who, in the course of their lifetime, have contributed an extraordinary effort to light pollution abatement.

Nominations must include the individual’s name, the number of years he or she has been active in light pollution abatement education, and the supporting rationale for the lifetime achievement award (i.e., significant achievements in recent years).  This award is determined by the IDA Board of Directors.

Past recipients include:

Bob Mizon (2016)
Dr. Andreas Hänel (2015)
Dr. Tim Hunter (2014)
Reginald Wilson (2013)
Dr. Malcolm Smith (2012)
David Toeppen (2011)
Robert L. Gent (2009)
Jack Sales (2008)

The Hoag/Robinson Award

At the recommendation of the IDA board of directors, this award 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. The award is named in honor of two pioneers in outdoor lighting reform, Dr. Arthur Hoag and William T. Robinson.

Dr. Arthur Hoag, who received his Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University in 1952, was one of the founders of the dark sky movement. Dr. Hoag led the cause against light pollution at Kitt Peak in the 1960s and early 1970s. His efforts, together with those of the astronomers he led, resulted in the adoption of an outdoor lighting ordinance in Tucson and Pima County in 1972.

William Robinson was a retired petroleum engineer experienced in technology and negotiation when he met Dave Crawford at Kitt Peak National Observatory. Shortly thereafter he came out of retirement to become a volunteer for dark sky preservation in southern Arizona. Passionate and tireless, Mr. Robinson was instrumental in the adoption of no less than 50 outdoor lighting control ordinances throughout Arizona that included most incorporated communities, all state counties, and the state itself.

This award honors Dr. Hoag and William Robinson for their work as dark sky pioneers. Their widows, Marge Hoag and Mary Robinson, have agreed to the use of their names for this award.

Past recipients include:
Rod McConnell (2016)
William Wren (2015)
Nancy Clanton (2014)
J. Kelly Beatty (2013)
Dr. Mario Motta (2012)
Dr. Constance Walker (2011)
Cipirano Marin (2009)
Friedel Pas (2008)
Pedro Sanhueza (2007)
Hyman Kaplan and Paul Ericson (2004)
Dr. Jan Hollan and Leo Smith (2003)
Christian Luginbuhl (2002)
Robert L. Gent (2001)

The Galileo Award

This award is given once per year for outstanding achievements in combating light pollution in Europe and is presented at the European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky.

Past recipients include:

Dr. Christopher Kyba, Germany (2016)
Michel Bonavitacola, France (2015)
Dr. Thomas Posch, Austria (2014)
Dr. Günther Wuchterl, Austria (2013)
Friedel Pas, Belgium (2012)
Martin Morgan-Taylor, United Kingdom (2011)
Wim Schmidt, Platform Lichthinder, The Netherlands (2010)
Dr. Andreas Haenel, Dark Skies Germany, Germany (2009)
Dr. Christopher Baddiley, United Kingdom (2008)
Dr. Pierantonio Cinzano, Italy (2007)
Bob Mizon, UK Campaign for Dark Skies, UK (2006)
Rene Kobler, Switzerland (2005)
Fabio Falchi, Italy (2004)
Diego Bonata, Italy (2003)

The Dark Sky Defender Awards

These awards are given to individuals and organizations in appreciation of their efforts on behalf of IDA and its mission to preserve night skies by promoting quality outdoor nighttime lighting. Many past awardees have led strong campaigns for public awareness and outdoor lighting laws. The IDA executive director selects awardees, however, we also welcome nominations.

2014 Awards:

Allan and Rosemary Bell (Beverly Shores International Dark Sky Community)
Cindy Luongo Cassidy (IDA Texas)
Gordon Gower (Hovenweep National Monument)
Andreas Hänel (Rhön Biosphere Reserve)
Amy Juan (Night Sky Brightness Monitoring)
John Kanemoto (Night Sky Brightness Monitoring)
Keep Sedona Beautiful (Sedona International Dark Sky Community)
Eathan McInyre (Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument)
Oracle Dark Skies Committee (Oracle State Park)
Julie Ormonde (Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve)
Alejandro Sanchez (

The Lighting Design Award

The IDA Lighting Design Award is given to designers and owners and/or managers of facilities in recognition of quality lighting. In determining award winners, IDA considers the following criteria: freedom from glare, rational lighting levels, energy efficiency, good nighttime ambiance, minimal obtrusive light and minimal contribution to skyglow. Winning lighting designs and installations must be environmentally friendly and economically sensible.

IDA requests nominations for the Lighting Design Award and welcomes nominations both for international and for regional or local quality lighting designs and installations. To nominate a facility designer and a facility owner/manager for an award, follow the instructions below and send the information to

Awards are given for quality outdoor lighting of any kind and for any application. Multiple submissions may be made. Although anyone may submit a lighting design and installation for consideration, the designer of the lighting system and the owner/manager of the facility in which the lighting system is installed must sign the official nomination form to indicate their agreement with the submission. Each submission must include a statement explaining the reason for the submission. Sufficient information and details must be included about the lighting design and installation in order for the judges to professionally assess the submission. Entries without sufficient information and details will be rejected.

Each submission must include high-resolution color digital images — taken both at night and during the day—of the lighting design and installation. These must include both general views (to assess the overall design) and detailed views of features of the lighting system. Photographs will not be returned. Nomination submission constitutes permission of submitting parties for IDA to use submitted images in order to publicize the awards and to promote quality outdoor lighting.

The Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award is presented to students of any grade level – elementary school through university – who have demonstrated an interest in dark sky preservation and/or research by developing exceptional science fair projects, conducting research, or other activities coordinated with their schools or universities. Nominations must not be longer than two pages and should include

  • Nominator’s name, affiliation, title and relationship to the student
  • Student’s name, school affiliation and level in school
  • Description of the project, including its significance regarding lighting pollution and/or night sky protection, and the purpose for the project (e.g., science fair, class project, etc.)
  • Justification for why the student deserves the Rising Star Award