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Consortium for Dark Sky Studies

Consortium for Dark Sky Studies receives Formal Recognition

The University of Utah has awarded formal recognition to the Consortium for Dark Sky Studies (CDSS), the first academic center in the world dedicated to discovering, developing, communicating and applying knowledge pertaining to the quality of the night skies.

The CDSS is an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research group based in the College of Architecture and Planning at the U. The consortium of over 25 university, industry, community and governmental partners will research the global issue of light pollution, and the public health, economic and environmental impacts of the so-called “disappearing dark.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Bettymaya Foott

View of the sky glow of Salt Lake City, taken from Rockport. The stars fade as the light pollution gets brighter.

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“The importance of this issue reaches far beyond Utah’s borders. The consortium addresses the global issue: how to preserve dark skies and reduce the planet’s seemingly relentless increase, with multiple impacts, in light pollution,” remarks Stephen Goldsmith, co-director of CDSS and associate professor of city and metropolitan planning at the U. “The related trans-disciplinary subjects of research, both abundant and complex, make the consortium a critically important resource for communities in the developed and developing world.”

A member of CDSS, the Natural History Museum of Utah recently earned a new International Dark-Sky Association Lighting Design Award, making the museum Utah’s first dark sky-designed public building. The museum is located at the University of Utah and housed in the Rio Tinto Center, nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range.

“We so appreciate receiving this recognition for our dark-sky lighting design. The museum was conceived as an extension of the natural environment with integrated architecture, site and exhibitions,” said Sarah George, executive director of the Natural History Museum of Utah. “From the start of design, we knew we wanted our lighting to have minimal impact on our site, and today it is a great place to set up telescopes and stargaze in the city.”

PHOTO CREDIT: NHMU/Dana Sohm

The Natural History Museum of Utah is the first public building in Utah to win an International Dark-Sky Lighting Design Award.

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“The Wasatch Range is a national laboratory. You have light from the metropolitan area in the front, but the backside is really dark. It’s like a night and day comparison,” says Dave Kieda, dean of graduate studies and professor of physics and astronomy at the U, and co-director of the CDSS. “There’s a philosophical aspect to the night sky. Faced with the beauty of it all, you ask those big science questions to understand the world around you.”

Utah is uniquely positioned to host studies of the dark sky. The vast tracts of public land and concentration of national parks and monuments provide substantial night skies unpolluted by man-made light that represent a boon of research opportunities. The consortium’s official status has already spurred international collaborations; the CDSS will partner with the leading international research group, ALAN (Artificial Light at Night,) to host the largest global conference to date examining the many aspects and impacts of artificial light. The ALAN conference will convene at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in November 2018.

Full Press Release.

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Science Employer Panel - Feb. 23

Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 3:00 p.m. - Science Employer Panel on the U of U Campus!

SCIENCE EMPLOYER PANEL

"The Science Employer Panel brings students and professionals together for an in-depth discussion of the job prospects and internship opportunities available to science graduates. Students get direct access to insider information about a variety of science industries, while panelists get a chance to meet their future employees and share about why their business is a great place to work. Connections made at the Science Employer Panel start new careers, and help drive Utah’s economic engine."

Hosted by the College of Science

Date & Time: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 3:00 pm (Panel begins at 3:00 pm, networking begins at 4:00 pm)

Location: Room 220, Aline Wilmot Skaggs Building (ASB)
View Map

The Science Employer Panel brings students and professionals together for an in-depth discussion of the job prospects and internship opportunities available to science graduates. Students get direct access to insider information about a variety of science industries, while panelists get a chance to meet their future employees and share about why their business is a great place to work. Connections made at the Science Employer Panel start new careers, and help drive Utah’s economic engine.

Panel: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Panelists:

  • Zions Bank
  • Myriad Genetics
  • ThermoFisher Scientific
  • Qualtrics
  • College of Science

Networking: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Networking:

  • BioFire Defense
  • Utah State Parks
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Edwards LifeSciences

Science Employer Panel is free. Click here, or contact Paige Berg at (801) 587-8098, to learn more about the Science Employer Panel.

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Frontiers of Science with Cagan Sekercioglu

Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 6:00 p.m. - Frontiers of Science with Dr. Cagan Sekercioglu! "Why Birds Matter: Conserving the World’s Birds and Their Ecosystem Services" in room 220 of the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Building (ASB) on the U of U Campus!

FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE

with Dr. Cagan Sekercioglu,
Department of Biology, University of Utah

Why Birds Matter: Conserving the World’s Birds and Their Ecosystem Services

Date & Time: Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 6:00pm

Location: 220 Aline Skaggs Building at the University of Utah
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Birds play critical roles for ecosystems and human well-being worldwide. Birds consume pests, pollinate flowers, disperse seeds, scavenge carrion, cycle nutrients, and modify the environment in ways that benefit other species.

However, the ecological importance of birds and the economic value of their services are not widely appreciated, and many face extinction due to climate change, habitat loss, and introduced species. By studying birds' ecological functions and ecosystem services, we can understand the environmental consequences of bird declines and extinctions for ecosystems and for the people that benefit from birds’ services.

Frontiers of Science is free and open to the public. Please arrive early, as seating and parking will be limited. Click here to learn more about the Frontiers of Science lecture series.

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Adam Beehler Awarded Governor’s Medal for Science

From the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development website.


Adam Beehler

Adam Beehler, the Department of Physics & Astronomy's Lecture Demonstration Specialist, has been awarded the 2016 Utah Governor's Medal for Science and Technology in the category of Higher Education.
Adam is being recognized for his contributions to Higher Education as the university's own "Bill Nye", sharing his passion for physics with thousands of Utahns!

The medal recipients are true leaders in innovation, serving as educators, mentors and influencers statewide,” State Gov. Gary Herbert said. “Innovation drives Utah’s thriving economy and unmatched quality of life. I commend the winners for excellence in their fields and for their important work, which will benefit Utah residents for generations.

Adam Beehler's Award Bio

Adam Beehler’s preferred title of “phyzard” was dubbed by his daughter, but his official designation is lecture demonstration specialist for the University of Utah Department of Physics and Astronomy. With more than 20 years of experience in physics teaching, Adam is passionate about community engagement and outreach. He has reached more than 65,000 Utah students and members of the general public through his volunteer lecture-demonstration presentations and outreach activities at elementary and middle schools. Adam’s demonstration activities have been published as a national best practice and have been adopted by many peer institutions due to their effectiveness for increasing student learning. Adam loves physics and loves sharing it. Some would say that getting into the details of science to explain something as beautiful as a rainbow would dampen the experience. For Adam, understanding the science behind a rainbow opens his eyes even more to its beauty.

 

The Utah Governor's Medal for Science and Technology is awarded to residents and companies who have provided distinguished service or made significant contributions to Utah’s advanced scientific and technological knowledge, education and industry.

Click here to learn more and to see past recipients.
Press release available here.

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