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Light pollution analysis in the introductory astronomy classroom: Engaging local governance in sustainability

Published onJun 01, 2020
Light pollution analysis in the introductory astronomy classroom: Engaging local governance in sustainability

Numerous cities across the United States have adopted lighting ordinances to reduce energy waste associated with poor lighting fixture design. In an effort to motivate cities to work toward and become marked as sustainable cities, rating systems such as STAR and LEED have created light pollution standards. We present the development and initial outcomes of an inaugural collaboration made between the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Sustainability Institute, the State College Borough, and an introductory astronomy course at PSU, directed at conjoining students’ astronomy learning with the Borough’s sustainability goals. The project made extensive use of the Globe at Night app and the International Dark Skies association guide to acceptable and unacceptable light fixture design.

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