102

Nearly all animals see light differently than we do. Dr. Seymour endeavors to understand how light drives organismal behavior. To that end, he tries to bridge the gap between astronomers, light engineers and biologists. Each of these camps has elements of tools and measurement models that he thinks could be brought together collaboratively and synergistically to benefit our ecosystem and the study of it.

Dr. Seymoure’s research program is interdisciplinary and combines physiological, histological, and astronomical methods to understand the importance of natural light as well as the consequences of artificial light on animal behavior and ecology of animals. Overall objectives of his research are to: 1) determine how light cycles have driven visual adaptations and predator-prey dynamics; 2) quantify and investigate the myriad effects and consequences of artificial light at night on animals (mostly insects, spiders, and reptiles) from the cellular to landscape level; 3) investigate visual and morphological (e.g. coloration) adaptations that render individuals more evolutionarily successful; 4) develop techniques for quantifying light in a non-human and biologically relevant manner; 5) quantify and monitor insect populations in the Chihuahuan desert; and 6) utilize current biological research to increase learning efficacy in undergraduate courses. To accomplish these objectives, Dr. Seymoure relies upon both field and laboratory work that ranges from electrophysiology of animal eyes, automated video tracking of animal behavior, and predator-prey experiments under natural conditions.

101

This one isn’t exactly about light pollution, but you’re going to want to hear it anyway. It’s all about 5G. No, not the “5G cell towers are giving you Covid 19” conspiracy, this is about the deleterious effects of radio frequency waves on your health. With the lack of updated standards, and the usual corporate protectionism, this train is full speed ahead unless people like Odette can cut the tracks. Take your phone away from your head!

Odette Wilkens has been a technology transactional attorney for over 20 years, having represented multi-national corporations in entertainment, finance and technology. She co-founded Wired Broadband, Inc. (WBI) a non-profit in New York City, and The National Call for Safe Technology, a coalition of over 100 organizations and individuals nationwide. Both organizations advocate protections for the public by promoting safer telecommunications. Expanding her efforts in NYC, she founded the NYC Alliance for Safe Technology, a coalition of NYC residents, civic leaders, and community board leaders and members, advocating for the responsible placement of wireless facilities. In her various roles, she has been promoting the benefits of wired broadband connectivity to bridge the digital divide for the unserved, underserved and disabled communities.

Connect with Odette:

National Call for Safe Technology

https://www.wiredbroadband.org/

https://www.facebook.com/wiredbroadband

https://www.linkedin.com/in/odette-j-wilkens-esq-8153a32

100

Epidemiology. From the Greek “epi,” meaning “among,” and “demos” meaning “the people.” In modern usage, epidemiology is the study of disease in populations. Professor Edwards uses this term for the “disease” of road traffic accidents. He has done extensive research on this in relation to reduced street lighting, by compiling data from scores of municipalities in Britain and has come to the conclusion that… well you’ll have to listen to the episode. Phil Edwards is a Professor of Epidemiology & Statistics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, one of the world’s leading public health universities. His research has focused on road safety (particularly of pedestrians), and he has used interrupted time series analysis methods to evaluate the effects of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London and the effects of reduced street lighting on road casualties and crime in England. Most recently, he has researched construction site injuries in lower income countries, where rapid urbanisation requires construction on an unprecedented scale.

Connect with Phil:

https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/aboutus/people/edwards.phil

https://www.instagram.com/drphilphy/

https://twitter.com/drphilphy/

99

Chip works by the three “Rights” as in “doing the right thing.” The RIGHT amount of light, in the RIGHT location, and on for the RIGHT amount of time. Chip has used this term for decades to help guide his designs and installations from the time of incandescent through to the LED era and everything in between. Chip is also on board with sustainability and responsible outdoor light at night with indirect lighting, dimming, lower Kelvin temperatures, and just plain turning lights off. That’s how to get a softer groove. Chip Israel has been a lighting designer for over 39 years. In 1992, he founded LIGHTING DESIGN ALLIANCE, a full-service architectural lighting design firm, where he built a highly-select team of lighting design professionals who now serve a variety of clients worldwide. As Co-CEO and Founder, Chip works closely with the owner, design team, and manufacturers to ensure lighting systems are fully integrated with the architectural design and enhance the designer’s concepts. Chip is committed to promoting excellence in lighting design through education. As a leading industry spokesman, he has presented technical papers and educational seminars in over seventeen countries and lectured in dozens of universities. Lighting Design Alliance has also been recognized by winning over 300 National and International design awards, including multiple awards for sustainable lighting design.

Connect with Chip:

https://www.lightingdesignalliance.com/

https://www.instagram.com/lightingdesignalliance/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/lighting-design-alliance/

98

Yash recently discovered something astounding. Moths fly with their backs to a light because they think it’s the sky and they try to orient themselves to it. And then there’s all kinds of disorientation and trouble for them. Yash touches on the best light for moths in terms of nanometers and placement. You may think they’re just moths but they pollinate an enormous amount of our food. It’s time for the lighting industry to step up and tackle this problem. Yash Sondhi is a postdoctoral researcher working in the Kawahara Lab in the Florida Museum of Natural history. He obtained his PhD at Florida International University in Miami with Dr.Jamie Theobald, studying how moths and butterflies see the world, and specifically how moth eyes and brains adapted to function so well under dim light. He uses multiple techniques (genetics, animal behavior, neuroscience) to examine how different day and night flying insects’ senses (sight, hearing, smell) have evolved. As human civilization develops, artificial light is slowly eroding dark skies with disastrous consequences for animals, plants, and humans. As awareness increases that light pollution is harmful, understanding how different mitigation strategies work is crucial to implement change. Yash is thus studying how light can disorient and alter the circadian activity of insects, and testing strategies to mitigate light pollution. He also contributes to community science and insect biodiversity monitoring in India and Central America.

Connect with Yash:
Yash on LinkedIn
Yash on Instagram
Yash on X
YashSondi.com

97

You might have seen Nathalie on episode 324 of the Get A Grip On Lighting podcast. We thought Nathalie’s commitment to good, responsible lighting made her a natural fit for this podcast as well. Nathalie pushes back on some of the ideas that have been talked about on Restoring Darkness.She is all for dark sky preserves, but she doesn’t expect to see a lot of stars from New York City. And as she points out, even if all the lights were out, the pollution and particulates in the air would probably still prevent you from seeing the night sky. Nathalie even inspired Michael to rethink some of his views. Nathalie Rozot, MIES, is the founder of PhoScope, a think tank on light. She is a New York-based phototect and the recipient of many prestigious awards, grants, fellowships and sponsorships, including a 2021 WIL Award for the global solar lighting initiative Light Reach. She has a strong track record of contributions to social and critical issues in lighting and to lighting and design education. These include international keynote presentations, speaking engagements and publications, as well as a part-time professorship at The New School, former engagements as senior thesis faculty in lighting design Masters programs, senior guest lecturer in landscape architecture Masters programs in Versailles and Lille, and education columnist for the IES’s publication LD+A.

Connect with Nathalie:
https://www.phoscope.org
www.lightreach.net
@lightreachnet @lightforleb

96

If light is in a simulation, how does it know what is reality? Okay, obviously light isn’t self-aware. But Dr. Morrell and his team at University of Exeter in the U.K. are creating computational models that predict the characteristics of artificial light at night. These models can show everything from how street lights will affect animals, plants, and humans. It’ll show what the glare will be like on a particular road. But most importantly, it can demonstrate how to improve the lighting before spending one pound or dollar on a light fixture. Dr. Morrell is a postdoc researcher working between the Environment and Sustainability Institute and the Astrophysics group at the University of Exeter. He received his PhD in astrophysics from Exeter in 2020, where he researched techniques for measuring the properties of stars. Since then, he has been working on combining measurement techniques with computational models to predict the characteristics of artificial light at night at and just above ground level, in locations and at scales that humans and animals experience it. He is working to develop quantitative models to better predict the ecological impacts of our rapidly evolving urban lightscapes.

Connect with Dr. Morrell:

Dr. Morrell on Twitter
Mastodon – @smorrell@mastodon.social
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sammorrell/
Personal website: https://sammorrell.co.uk/
Project website: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/research/esi/research/projects/artificial-light/

95

Peter comes to us from Casambi, so naturally this one is all about controls. Now don’t glaze over all you astronomers and astrotourists, this is important. This is how we get to restore our night sky and still have the light at night that we need. Peter tells Michael and Mark that he has been involved in a project where a developer actually WANTED to give street light control to the end-user – the people with homes on the street. Mark likes the idea that people who need brighter light can turn up a parking lot lamp temporarily that will then return to its dim state which is good for the people who are sensitive to bright LED lights. Could controls help us get it under control? Prior to his 20 year career of leading teams and driving revenue in the lighting manufacturing and controls industry, Peter worked in software. It was this distinctive blend of experiences that fueled his passion for harnessing technology for innovative problem-solving—a passion he now brings to Casambi.

Connect with Peter:

https://casambi.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/peter-augusta-373b793/

94

More and more satellites are going to obstruct the view for astronomers, but as Jo Marchant points out, it will also affect the cultural, spiritual and psychological aspects for everyone when they don’t have a clear view of the stars. Jo explains, in her book, The Human Cosmos: Civilisation and the Stars, how it is evident from ancient cave drawings that early man used the stars to mark the passage of time. She argues that the invention of mechanical clocks meant that we no longer needed to look to the sun and stars to mark time. So take off your watch, put away your phone, cover your digital clock and just take in the majesty of the stars. Jo Marchant is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker. Her writing explores the nature of humanity and our universe, from the mind-body connection to the mysteries of past civilisations and the awesome power of the night sky.

Connect with Jo:

JoMarchant.com
JoMarchant on X
JoMarchant on Instagram

93

Diane has been to Mars. That is, she crewed the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. It was there she turned her attention to Dark Sky advocacy. Diane is a lecturer in the Department of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh. Lucky for Pittsburgh, Diane is helping to guide the city’s street light conversion to LED by, among other things, convincing astronauts aboard the ISS to take photos of Pittsburgh before, during, and after the conversion. Diane Turnshek bonus fun fact: the Dung Beetle uses the light of the Milky way to roll its little ball of dung in a straight line. Diane has earned an International Dark Sky Association’s Defender Award. She has given over one hundred light pollution talks including one for TEDxPittsburgh, curated a series of space art galleries, and founded the Pennsylvania Chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association. In 2019, she edited the genre anthology Triangulation: Dark Skies with twenty-one starry night short stories. She has been interviewed by the New York Times, PBSNewsHour, NPR Morning Edition, Canada One Radio, Chinese Global Television Network and 50 more news outlets. She hosted a Dark Skies Conference at CMU and is co-running the 9th International Artificial Light at Night Conference in Calgary, Canada in August of 2023. Her research focuses on measuring the light of cities with drones, aircraft, satellites and astronauts aboard the ISS.

Connect with Diane:

https://dianeturnshek.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/diane-turnshek-8677856/

https://www.instagram.com/star1ady/

 

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