Internships

Dark Skies/CC After Dark project

 

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Dark Skies/CC After Dark project

In collaboration with the physics and anthropology departments and the Chaplain's office, students will research dark skies initiatives and policies of the region. Many towns in the West are passing dark sky initiatives, which have exposed many benefits. Student-researchers with interests in physics/astronomy, philosophy, and anthropology will be tasked with providing the history of the cosmos (the stars/constellations we see in the western skies), and its fundamental influence on being human, (and thus our ideologies, philosophies, cultures, religion, etc.); the role of stars in navigation and exploration of our planet; our understanding of our significance in the universe; migration; astrology; myths (maybe emphasize western US indigenous, Afro-American, and Latinx) and celebrations/ceremonies, and stories. Students will examine the eco-environmental impact of too much light during the dark hours – for example, the effect on the nocturnal process (i.e., CAM4 photosynthesis; species diversity and populations; migration and feeding; photosynthesis; pollination; sleep; etc.). Another component of this will entail collecting photos and sound recordings of dark skies in towns and comparing them to the dark skies the same night in Colorado Springs. What stars are visible in each location? What do we hear in the dark? Is sound a conservation concern? A survey of community members’ attitudes toward the Dark Skies initiative around campus, Colorado Springs, and other Dark Skies communities will also help us to determine if this is a conservation concern and if so, whether questions such as these should be included in the  2023 Conservation in the West Poll and whether this might be a consideration for policy-making. 

Meet the Rockies' Dark Skies Summer '22 project interns

Michael Braithwaite Dark Skies 2022

Michael Braithwaite, '23

Hello! My name is Michael and I am from Boston, Massachusetts. Here at CC, I am majoring in physics and minoring in journalism, and I work for The Catalyst as a member of the editorial staff. I've loved the night sky ever since I was little, and a few years ago I started trying to take pictures of them - a hobby that I continue to this day. I've been following the State of The Rockies project for some time now, and I'm so excited to finally be a part of it as an intern for the Dark Skies project!

Katie Joslyn 2022Katie Joslyn, '23

Katie Joslyn is a sophomore from Middleton, Wisconsin. She is majoring in physics with an astrophysics emphasis. In her free time, Katie enjoys snowboarding, biking, hiking, and art. She loves math, science, space, and dinosaurs and is so excited to be a part of the Dark Skies Initiative project!

Ben Roche 2022 Ben Roche, '23

I’m Ben Roche and I’m a sophomore geology major at Colorado College. While it’s not my major, astronomy and the night sky have always been an interest of mine! I’ve got a telescope at home that I use to observe the stars whenever I get a chance. I’m from Chicago, and as such light pollution has always been a problem that I’d wanted to help minimize. I’m very excited to work for the State of the Rockies to make Colorado more sustainable and help people regain a beautiful night sky.

Drew Manning 2022Drew Manning, '22

Drew Manning is a senior Physics and Environmental Studies double major from Wellesley, Massachusetts. Outside of class he is a tutor at the Quantitative Reasoning Center and serves as co-chair of CC’s = Freeriders Union. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, reading, and collecting houseplants. He is thrilled to be spending this summer investigating the night sky with the State of the Rockies.

 

 Dark Skies interns essential duties:

Provide scientific background on how stars came into existence, the myths and creation stories we have created about them; the role of stars in navigation and exploration of our planet; our understanding of our significance in the universe, migration; photosynthesis, nocturnal plant, and animal processes/behaviors; pollination; sleep; etc. Research Dark Skies initiatives and policies of the region Collect photos of dark skies in towns and compare them to the dark skies the same night in Colorado Springs. What stars are visible in each location? Sound recordings: What do we hear in the dark? Is sound a conservation concern? Write and conduct a survey of community members’ attitudes toward the Dark Skies initiative around campus, Colorado Springs, members of Dark Skies communities, etc. Sustainability students assess CC campus and maybe start a CC ‘After Dark’ project.
• Determine if this is a conservation concern (as determined by the survey) and if so, whether this question should be included in the 2023 Conservation in the West poll. What’s the potential for this to be a consideration for policy-making?
Help promote CC After Dark dark skies initiatives and implementations as a model for other colleges and communities. 

This project is made possible with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

 

Going Public with the Conservation in the West Poll: Public Lands Survey of Visitors project

Public Lands survey posterThe Student Project Researcher will work with the State of the Rockies Project/Outdoor Ed/Journalism Institute collaborative to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors.  Student researchers will travel by car to three or four of the most popular national parks, forests, and monuments in Rocky Mountain West to survey park visitors.  The student researchers’ primary role will be to visit the identified parks’ campgrounds, visitors’ centers, trailheads, etc., and while doing so, interview visitors to the park areas.  Students will investigate individual characteristics of park attendees, how they recreate in the parks, attitudes toward climate change, and other conservation topics.  Directed by The State of the Rockies, this spring and summer 2022 five student researchers will tour the identified parks and while doing so, interview other visitors to the parks, campgrounds, visitor centers, etc.

This project is made possible with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

 

Report an issue - Last updated: 04/19/2022