For almost five billion years the earth has known night and day. The biology of nearly every living thing has evolved in this cycle making it nature’s clock guiding sleeping, feeding, breeding, migration, and more. As a result, turning night into day has biological consequences for insects, animals, and humans.
But, for humans, there is another consequence of light-pollution. Only a few generations ago the night sky was an intimate part of every human life. Orion, the hunter, stalked the winter skies while Scorpio pursued him six months behind in the summer sky. For our more distant ancestors, the night sky was clock, calendar, compass, and Netflicks as they hung stories of their gods, heroes, and villains on the patterns they saw in the stars. Today, in our daily lives, a veil of light separates us from the reality of our place in the universe.
As light pollution is wasted energy there are economic, and climactic costs in addition to the biological, and social costs. The good news is, we can have the benefits of artificial lighting and nature too by lighting responsibly. This website is your guide to how to light responsibly, how to enjoy experiencing nature at night, what ANSA is doing to preserve nature at night, and the environment in general.
Thanks for visiting and please join us on our Facebook Group, and follow or like our Facebook Page. To become more involved and support our efforts please join as a member, or join our Mobilize.io platform as a volunteer.
Observing 101 – This four-night online course will make your time under the stars more rewarding as you will come to know the night sky as our ancestors did.
Natural Sky Places Map – Places where the night sky can be experienced.
Natural Sky Host Map – Our host map lists cabins, campgrounds, and lodges under natural skies that light responsibly.
Library Telescopes – ANSA has helped bring telescopes to many libraries.
Fall Natural Sky Festival – fingers crossed, and check back for 2021.
Buffalo National River – International Dark-Sky Park, which ANSA help bring about.
How to light responsibly.
About human and animal health effects.
How to respond to light trespass.
How to self certify your home as sky friendly.
How to record your local sky’s light pollution and report it as a citizen scientist.
Your city’s response to energy-related environmental challenges.
Lighting’s role in crime and safety.
About nearby astronomy clubs.
Night sky observing related weather.
In 2019 the Buffalo National River was certified and an International Dark-Sky Park after a two and half year collaboration between ANSA and the Park Service.
ANSA is helping to develop an economic foundation for preserving the state’s remaining Dark-Skies through its Host map and related educational program.
ANSA has complete its first Municipal Environmental Survey, documenting the environmental programs of the state’s twenty-five largest communities. In 2021 a similar review of the state electric coops is planed.
ANSA is working with communities to advance environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. Helping, for example, Gilbert AR acquire free professional lighting expertise in its quest to light its city streets responsibly.
Stella, the Night Wise Owl is committed to the Natural State’s environment day and night. She wants you to learn about and enjoy nature at night so that you will help her preserve our state’s nocturnal environment. Here are ways to support her efforts and get involved.
About the Association
The Arkansas Natural Sky Association is an Arkansas Unincorporated Nonprofit Association with 501(c)3 tax exempt status, and the International Dark Sky Association‘s Arkansas affiliate. The Association is governed by a Steering Committee. Membership is open to the public, but membership is not required to become involved, which can be done by joining our mobilize.io site.
Our mission is to educate others on the adverse consequences of careless lighting and the how and why of proper lighting so as to preserve, to the extent practical, dark sky environments in the Natural State for their ecological and esthetic value and minimize other environmental impacts of artificial lighting.
Steering Committee 2020
James Bruce McMath
Chapter Chair, Little Rock Lawyer of counsel McMath Woods P.A.
Business Development Executive for Entegrity, a sustainability and energy services consulting firm.
Astronomer/Geologist, Northwest Arkansas Community College; Secretary, Sugar Creek Astronomical Society; and NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador (Bella Vista)
Trustee, Arkansas Nature Conservancy; Member, Pollution Control and Ecology Commission; board member, Arkansas STEM Coalition
Industrial Engineer with experience in developing lighting plans (Hot Springs)
Retired business executive and entrepreneur, president of the North Central Arkansas Astronomical Society, coordinator of BNR Star Party Support.
Retired engineer, amateur astronomer, author of Learning the Constellations.
Advisory Committee 2020
Conservationist and Wildlife Biologist
Project Manager, Garver LLC; PE, LEED, AP; Fayetteville
NCQLP Certified Lighting Consultant, Bernhard TME, Little Rock
President, Explore Scientific Springdale
Retired, Graduate Institute of Technology, UALR