EARTHtalk! lecture to shed light on importance of preserving dark skies, mitigating impacts of artificial outdoor light

EARTHtalk! lecture to shed light on importance of preserving dark skies, mitigating impacts of artificial outdoor light

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Earth Sciences will host a lecture Oct. 16 on the environmental and health impacts associated with the use of artificial light at night in the outdoor environment.

J. Bruce McMath, retired civil trial lawyer and chair of the Arkansas Natural Sky Association, will give the talk, “Preserving Arkansas’ Natural Dark Skies: It’s not Just About the Stars,” at 6 p.m. Oct. 16 at the College of Engineering and Information Technology building auditorium.

McMath will discuss the aesthetic and cultural impacts of losing visual access to the natural night sky as well as the role of wasted light in global warming, the biological impacts to wildlife, and risks to human health. McMath will also offer methods for mitigating these impacts through responsible lighting techniques.

McMath is past president of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society and a member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, where he serves on the Photometric Validation Team. McMath has recorded over 75,000 variable star observations, discovered two variable stars, and initiated the reclassification of several others.

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