POSTPONED  - new date TBD

Join us for this exciting hangout as we discuss the cultural importance of the night sky, what the loss of it means to us, and the health effects of light pollution. The panel includes both scientists and artists who are working to raise awareness of these issues.

Joining us on this hangout will be Connie Walker from Globe at Night and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Mario Motta and Scott Kardel from the International Dark-Skiy Association, Erika Blumenfeld from the Sky Scrolls project, and Daniela De Paulis from OPTICKS.

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 ConnieWConnie Walker

Connie Walker is an Associate Scientist at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson, Arizona, USA. For the past 14 years at NOAO, she has enjoyed managing several education outreach programs for the public, students and teachers on hands-on general astronomy, dark skies preservation, optics and solar research. A highlight of her job is directing the popularinternational light pollution citizen-science campaign, Globe at Night. To help make a difference, she is an officer on the Boards of Directors for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), and the 

International Astronomical Union’s commission on light pollution, as well as manages the Dark Skies Awareness programs for GAM. For her efforts in bringing dark skies awareness to the public, the IDA awarded her their Hoag-Robinson award. Her amazing astronomer-husband, daughter (19), son (15) and cat (7) thankfully tolerate her interest in the dark side of astronomy. 

ScottStars sm

Scott Kardel

Scott Kardel is the managing director for the International Dark-Sky Association, a non-profit dedicated to preserving and protecting the nighttime environment. Scott has a BS in physical science / secondary education from Northern Arizona University and a Master's Degree in astronomy from the University of Arizona. He has worked as assistant director for the Lake Afton Public Observatory in Wichita, Kansas and as the public affairs coordinator for Palomar Observatory. There he directed their public outreach programs and was the observatory's representative on light pollution issues. He has been with the International Dark-Sky Association since August, 2011.


ErikaB2Erika Blumenfeld

Erika Blumenfeld is a transdisciplinary artist whose work is concerned with the wonder of natural phenomena and our relationship with our natural environment. Approaching her work like an ecological archivist, Blumenfeld has chronicled a range of subjects, including atmospheric and astronomic phenomena, bioluminescent organisms, the remote landscape of Antarctica, wildfires and other ecological disasters. In each series, the artist investigates the simple beauty and complex predicament of our environment and ecology, working with scientists and research institutions such as the Scripps Institution for Oceanography, the McDonald Observatory and the South African National Antarctic Program. The project she will be discussing in this hangout is Sky Scrolls, an artwork that intends to chronicle our personal and heartfelt experiences under the night sky.


DanielaDaniela De Paulis

Daniela De Paulis is an artist who works with video, installation, sound and performance, she is also the author of the OPTICKS live art performance. OPTICKS is a live art parformance which involves bouncing images sent from Earth off the moon through techniques combining Radio Astronomy with amateur radio technologies. Daniela usually aims to show her work outside of the art gallery context, often involving institutions and businesses that are not directly linked with art, such as TetraPak in Finland, Cattex in Italy, and Billingsgate Market in London.


Mario MottaMario Motta

A cardiologist and amateur astronomer, Dr. Motta studied the effects of glare to better understand the impact of light pollution on vision. A member of the Massachusetts Medical Society and elected member of the American Medical Association's (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health, Dr. Motta spent years encouraging members of the medical community to recognize the negative effects of glare. In 2009, his campaign bore fruit with the unanimous passage of AMA Resolution 516 officially supporting light pollution efforts and glare reduction efforts. IDA is honored to admit this longtime ally and medical expert to the Board of Directors. His presentation at the 2009 Annual General Meeting, "The AMA Recognizes Light Pollution," is available on the Annual Conference page.