The International Dark-Sky Association welcomes two new members to the IDA Board of Directors.
Debra Norvil, an environmental compliance engineer and grassroots outdoor lighting advocate in the Chicago, Illinois area and Massachusetts public health advocate Dr. Mario Motta will join returning Board President Christian Monrad, P.E., LEED AP, and members Paul Ericson, PE, LC, IALD and Jim Benya, PE FIES FIALD LC, in serving a three year term starting February 2010. Ms. Norvil, Mr. Monrad, and Mr. Ericson were elected to the Board of Directors by IDA members; Dr. Motta and Mr. Benya were appointed by the IDA Board of Directors in accordance with IDA bylaws.
A founding member of the expertly lit Village of Homer Glen, Illinois, Ms. Norvil's strong credentials as a community developer and her experience with lighting ordinances will be an asset to IDA. Having worked on environmental programs for the International Year of Astronomy and Earth Hour 2009, Ms. Norvil respects the value of educational collaboration. She writes, "We must embrace our allies in the environmental community and engage them in our campaign against light pollution. The time is right to look to different avenues to truly educate the populace on the detrimental impact of artificial light at night. Education is always the key element to bring about any meaningful change. One way to achieve this end is with the assistance of the environmental groups."
Dr. Motta also has an impressive record of grassroots accomplishments. A cardiologist and amateur astronomer, Dr. Motta studied the effects of glare to better understand the impact of light pollution on vision. A member of the Massachusetts Medical Society and elected member of the American Medical Association's (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health, Dr. Motta spent years encouraging members of the medical community to recognize the negative effects of glare. In 2009, his campaign bore fruit with the unanimous passage of AMA Resolution 516 officially supporting light pollution efforts and glare reduction efforts. IDA is honored to admit this longtime ally and medical expert to the Board of Directors.
Returning Board members Christian Monrad, Paul Ericson, and Jim Benya are established lighting professionals with extensive backgrounds in public and commercial lighting applications and regional light pollution control advocacy. Mr. Monrad anticipates an effective group dynamic, remarking, “I’m very honored to be retained on the IDA Board of Directors along with Jim and Paul. Paul and Jim are both heavily involved with ongoing lighting research, energy efficiency and application efforts in California and elsewhere that often set precedent for other applications across the US and are also observed with interest internationally. We look forward to continued engagement with researchers, industry and environmental interests to further the mission of IDA in the coming years.”
Dan Brocious Leaves the BOD
Board member Dan Brocious is stepping down after 17 years of dedicated service. He has been a Board member since 1992 and has served in the office of secretary since 2008. Mr. Brocious is a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and has eloquently and persistently represented the dark sky interests of southern Arizona observatories before local and state governments. In 2008 he testified at LED billboard hearings in Phoenix, Arizona. This prescient action helped establish curfews and maximum luminance levels, curtailing the unchecked growth of this means of advertisement that afflicts many cities today. Past President Bob Gent notes, "Dan was instrumental in getting the 2005 Cochise County [Arizona] lighting ordinance update passed unanimously."
Heartfelt thanks to Mr. Brocious, whose early efforts to raise awareness of light pollution have laid the groundwork for ongoing dark sky protection. He will continue his post as public information officer for the Smithsonian Institution’s Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory at Mount Hopkins, Arizona, where he will remain an invaluable public educator on the importance of dark skies.