The Weston Forest and Trail Association’s Annual Meeting will again be held online, on Sunday, May 1, 2022 from 4 to 5 PM, along with a special presentation on the Dark-Sky Movement (see below). We will cover some of the accomplishments of 2021, goals for 2022, the financial status of the organization, new trustee nominations, and appointment of officers.
If you want to attend the meeting, please complete this brief contact form, and then shortly before the meeting, we will email you the access information for the call. Thanks, and we look forward to talking with you at the meeting!
James Lowenthal: It’s Nighttime — It’s Supposed to Be Dark!
Humans may be diurnal, but we need darkness at night for good health, and for connecting to wonder and ancient heritage through the starry sky. And so do all other species; a naturally dark night is an essential part of their ecosystem. It may seem harmless, but light pollution has far-reaching consequences, from increased rates of serious illnesses in humans, to negative impacts on migration, reproduction, and foraging of virtually every species of flora and fauna that’s been studied. Fortunately, there are simple fixes for light pollution, and it goes away as soon as we turn the lights down or off, unlike most other kinds of pollution. The Dark-Sky Movement is gaining momentum around the world, including across Massachusetts, where dozens of cities and towns are working to protect the night and where the Dark-Sky Bills are progressing in the state legislature.
James Lowenthal is the Mary Elizabeth Moses Professor of Astronomy at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He received his BS in Physics and Astronomy from Yale University and his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Arizona. He studies the formation and evolution of galaxies, especially actively star-forming galaxies. He served as Vice President of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) from 2016–2019 and serves on the AAS Sustainability Committee and the AAS Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference, and Space Debris. He is the Massachusetts Chapter Leader for the International Dark-Sky Association. Lowenthal is active locally, nationally, and internationally in the movement to fight light pollution and protect the naturally dark night sky. He also works to promote action to stop climate change.