Detroit PBS recently visited GLAS Education to report on GLAS’s work on in monitoring light pollution in the Geneva Lake area as part of a wider story on citizen science.
On March 7, Greg King, a Detroit PBS producer, and Bennett Spencer, a freelance videographer, interviewed GLAS director Kate Meredith and talked with Adam McCulloch, GLAS’s Dark Skies manager, about the Lakeshore Environmental Night Sky Sensor (LENSS) project. They also filmed Adam and GLAS students as they installed a dark sky sensor at a home on Geneva Lake.
The Lakeshore Environmental and Night Sky Sensor project focuses on preserving the darks skies of Walworth County. Light pollution negatively affects the health of humans, plants, animals, and even boating safety on Geneva Lake. High school students at GLAS design, test, and build remote monitoring stations which are placed around Geneva Lake. Dark Skies education is also a major component of the LENSS project in which students work together to promote positive changes in the lighting in the Geneva Lake area.
WMVS channel 10, Milwaukee’s PBS station ran the episode late March. Viewers can still catch the episode, entitled “Fading Stars and River Bugs,” (2303) on https://www.greatlakesnow.org/series/, or search “Great Lakes Now” in Google.
The PBS team got a tour of the GLAS offices. Adam explained the work students do in building the dark sky sensors that are key to the LENSS project. Kate and Adam also showed Greg GLAS’s 3D printer farm. The printers create the 3D images of galaxies and telescopes that make science accessible for all students.
“You’ve got a lot going on here,” Greg said during the tour.
At Kate’s suggestion, Greg and Bennett also visited the nearby Yerkes Observatory. The century old observatory’s architecture and history were impressive, they said. “It’s a special place,” Bennett said, calling it “a time capsule.”
The Detroit station’s interest in GLAS was unexpected, Kate said. “I was really surprised to hear about it,” she said. “I was very surprised, because I don’t think our work in this area is very well known yet.”
Kate added that she was pleased with the attention. “This is an office that could use support and people still don’t know that they can do something about light pollution,” she said.