Greetings from Transylvania! Geza, Ken, and I are attending the ALAN 2016 conference in the city of Cluj-Napoca in Romania. (ALAN = Artificial Light At Night) Btw, we took a walking tour today (organized by the conference folks), and learned that “Cluj” and “Napoca” actually mean the same thing. Er, and that thing is…oh yeah, surrounded by barriers, like mountains & rivers, or something to that effect.
Today was the second day of the conference, and Geza rocked the house with his outstanding presentation about our NITESat mission. Lots of folks have expressed enthusiasm about the mission, including some who noted an active interest in participating by setting up their own ground stations for down-linking data and/or participating in GONet.
One of the great aspects of the conference, which has impressed many of the attendees (including me), is the wide diversity of disciplines represented that all share an interest in ALAN, with focuses ranging from art/architectural design and tourism development, to observation and measurement methods/technologies, to impacts on health and behavior (both for humans and wildlife), to philosophy, and the list goes on. In true science fashion, questions are always encouraged, and both support and (constructive) criticism are offered and received openly and always respectfully. Cool!
Tomorrow is the 3rd day of the conference. I’m looking forward to what the next presenters have to share with us. (I’m especially looking forward to the presentation on “the ethics of artificial nighttime lighting: creating a taxonomy of darkness as a moral value”. Should be an interesting presentation, not to mention the discussion afterwards!) I’ll post more after the conference is over. I’ll also try to put in some photos.