OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Joey Rodman contracts to bring science presentations to schools around Oklahoma and has a new project. Joey needs volunteers in a study of “light pollution” where you are.
Light pollution is what we call the encroachment of human-constructed lights on earth that eventually make it hard to see any but the very brightest objects in the night sky and even affect how we view the world around us on earth.
You can participate in a study called “Night Lights OKC” and is part of a much larger world study of light pollution.
The world project that this is a part of is explained on this website: https://okiespace.com/night-lights-okc
There you can find the tutorial that explains how the project works and how to participate.
The main project website will give you the big picture on this study: https://nachtlicht-buehne.de/startseite/nightlights/
Most common questions and Joey’s answers
Why are we doing a citizen science project that started in Germany?
Simple, the types of lights we have in the US are different from the types they have in other countries. We are adding more information for scientists to analyze to learn more about light pollution and what types of outdoor lights contribute the most to the problem.
What will happen to the data?
Scientists will compare the data we provide with data from other areas, Oklahoma City has a unique opportunity to help add to our understanding of light pollution because this area of our city is the brightest they have tried to survey yet.
What will volunteers be doing?
There is an online tutorial to help you learn what to look for and how to identify each type of light. The goal on each section (or transect) is to count every single light in that area. Each volunteer will be assigned a small area (usually just a few blocks, sometimes just one parking lot) to count and catalog the lights in that area.
Where are we cataloging?
We are going to catalog just one small portion of downtown/Bricktown, it is one of the brightest areas in the city and scientists need information from a variety of different areas to really get a full picture of what’s going on.
What is light pollution?
Light pollution is caused by artificial lights that are on at night, they can be either too bright or the light can be misdirected lighting up areas they weren’t intended to (like the sky). Light pollution affects every living thing from humans, to animals, to insects, to plants and wasted energy can often mean wasted money.