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Saving the Darkness: How To Put A Dimmer on Light Pollution and Bring Back the Night Sky
How many stars can you see from your home? For many Americans, the answer is only a handful. Our ancestors once saw thousands. The growing flood of artificial light pollution, and disappearance of our night skies, are taking a toll on people and animals. But there are ways to combat it. Kelsey Johnson, University of Virginia astronomer and creator of the “Dark Skies, Bright Kids” program, has devoted her career to understanding the stars and preserving their beauty for future generations. In our February Earth Optimism lecture, she’ll reveal some of the surprising costs our 24-hour illumination takes on nature—and some surprisingly easy ways to fix it.


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Dr. Kelsey Johnson
@University of Virginia
Kelsey Johnson teaches both inside and outside of the classroom, using astronomy as a gateway science to nurture curiosity and support science literacy. As a child, Johnson spent countless nights outside under the stars, where she developed a love for "big picture" questions about the nature of reality and the universe. She is a professor at the UVA and founding director of the award-winning Dark Skies Bright Kids program. She has won numerous awards for her research, teaching, and promotion of science literacy. Her TED talk on the importance of dark skies has more than 2m views, and her writing has appeared in nationwide publications, including the NYT, Scientific American, and WaPo. Her children’s book Constellations for Kids in consistently in the top 10 children’s astronomy books. Johnson is the past-president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and president-elect of the American Astronomical Society. She earned her BA in physics from Carleton College, and her MS and PhD i