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Dark Sky Studies

Program Description

Light pollution—excessive use of artificial light—poses environmental and safety threats, and it also prevents us from seeing the starry sky at night. Students in the Dark Sky Studies minor will examine the negative impacts of artificial light, seeking to preserve our night skies. This collaborative program is the first minor of its kind in the U.S. and includes courses and faculty from multiple areas at the U: science, public health, urban planning, engineering, religion, history, and philosophy. Three new interdisciplinary courses comprise the core of the 21-credit minor (Public Health and Artificial Light; Arts, Humanities and the Night Skies; and, Astronomy and Culture); students then take four electives from additional departments to further focus their dark sky studies.

Academic and Career Opportunities

The Dark Sky Studies minor presents several opportunities for research and development. Students will first work to develop new technology to measure light pollution, and they can then use this device to collect and analyze data across the Colorado Plateau. If you want to meet like-minded students, considering joining a club from one of the many disciplines collaborating on the Dark Sky Studies minor: the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Utah Public Health Student Ambassadors, or the Enviro Club. Through additional coursework at the undergraduate or graduate level, careers in urban planning, conservation, public health, and sustainability are possible.

Last Updated: 8/21/23