Winter Talk Series focuses on light pollution in Feb. 8 event

Yakima Valley College, in collaboration with the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, will continue its 2022 Winter Talk Series with a presentation on light pollution and its impact on ecosystems this February. The series explores current issues related to the Yakima Valley region’s environment and ecosystems and features guest lecturers who are subject matter experts in a variety of disciplines. Admission is free and open to the community.

Who’s Afraid of the….Light? A Natural History of Darkness
Presenter: Zachary Schierl, YVC Astronomy and Geology Instructor
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 • 7:00pm • Register for online talk

Humans have been using light to ward off darkness for thousands of years. In our modern world of cheap electricity and LEDs, light is ubiquitous and true darkness is hard to find. Astronomers have battled the spread of light pollution for over a century, yet emerging research shows that too much artificial light at night does more than just erase the stars. Natural darkness is also important for nocturnal ecosystems and our own health. In this presentation, Schierl will discuss the causes of light pollution, how scientists are measuring its impact on the natural world, and what we can do about it.

Zach Schierl grew up under the dark skies of Flagstaff, Ariz., the world’s first International Dark Sky City. He currently teaches astronomy and geology at Yakima Valley College and previously worked as an education specialist and park ranger for the National Park Service, developing and leading astronomy and dark sky stewardship programs around the west. Schierl has a bachelor’s degree in geology and astronomy from Whitman College and a master’s degree in geology from Western Washington University.

For more information: 509.574.4869.

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 /
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 /