West Newbury, county group team up on light pollution program | News

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WEST NEWBURY — West Newbury Wild and Native teams up with Essex County Greenbelt Association to bring the community an informative talk on the harmful effects of light pollution on wildlife.

Jane Slade, lighting educator and researcher at Anatomy of Light, will lead an exploration on the unwanted effects of stray light on animals and plants. Since the industrial revolution and the invention of the electric light bulb, the natural ecosystems of the Earth spend more and more time bathed in artificial light within a 24-hour cycle. Slade will discuss how artificial light and lack of darkness impacts things such as bird and whale migration. How can a rethinking of design and codes alleviate some of these harmful effects? Much of the study of light and health has been dedicated to researching its impact on humans, however animals and plants are also intrinsically photosensitive and deserving of consideration as well, Slade contends.

Her work looks at the many ways in which light impacts the environment, human health, wildlife, biodiversity and interdependence. A member of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Committee for Outdoor Environmental Lighting, Slade also works for an agency specializing in public outdoor lighting that blends design with science and the latest technology. She is currently writing a book about the natural daylight cycle. She offers her “Starving For Darkness” seminar virtually on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. To register, visit www.wnwildnative.org and click on the events button.

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