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GLOBE at Night

Encouraging public data analysis yields environmental impacts.

GLOBE at Night

How does astronomy relate to the environment? And how might data analysis result in conservation?

GLOBE at Night aims to help people appreciate night sky brightness, understand differences in (and consequences of) light pollution, and do something about problems they may observe.

For example, the Arizona Department of Game and Fish has used GLOBE at Night data to evaluate light pollution in the migration corridor of the endangered lesser long-nosed bat. Program coordinator Connie Walker said that templates are in the works to support similar analysis of regionally important species, such as sea turtles in Florida or mountain lions in California (see an activity on sea turtles and light pollution).

The light pollution data on its own, available on the project web site, can help individuals and communities identify and address issues. Communities in Indiana, Oklahoma and elsewhere have gone to their city councils with data documenting good and bad lighting, to affect changes in lighting ordinances.

In addition to providing a resource for people to see how their own light pollution measures up against other locations, the program, in its sixth year, is beginning to amass a long-term dataset sufficient to explore light pollution changes over time, and around the world.

Participate now! GLOBE at Night 2011 runs through April 4th (Northern Hemisphere) or April 6th (Southern Hemisphere).

Thanks to Connie Walker at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory for sharing details on this program!

Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research... this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research.

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