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Paper: Experiences of Dark Sky Advocates in Stanley, Idaho
Volume: 531, ASP2020: Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement
Page: 16
Authors: Heim, J.
Abstract: This presentation will discuss selected findings from a case study of dark sky initiatives in Stanley, a small, rural community located in the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. Stanley recently implemented a “dark sky friendly,” fully shielded, 2200 K LED streetlight retrofit. This research explored the processes necessary for this project to come to fruition and delved into the experiences of key actors involved with dark sky initiatives in this community. In particular, it focused on dark sky advocates' thoughts and feelings about dark sky advocacy and the night sky, seeking to elucidate the reasons why they believed implementing “best practice” outdoor lighting and maintaining their region's dark, starry night skies were issues worthy of their time and energy. During interviews, research participants discussed their experiences with dark sky advocacy in great depth, sharing their thoughts on key elements necessary for success in gaining widespread community support for the dark sky initiatives undertaken. Such initiatives included changing residential and business lighting, implementing a “dark sky friendly” streetlight retrofit, and creating a Dark Sky Place designation. These individuals also shared challenges that had to be overcome in order for these endeavors to come to pass and explained how they were able to successfully work to find common ground with those in the community who were less supportive of these ideas. This presentation will discuss factors contributing to advocates' success in inspiring others to make “dark sky friendly” lighting choices and will highlight takeaways from this research which may be of use to those seeking to encourage dark sky initiatives in their own communities.
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