Join Santa Cruz IDA chapter members Lisa Heschong and Andy Kreyche for a discussion of how light pollution in Santa Cruz impacts our local environment. We will review recent research on circadian disruption of plants, animals and humans by exposure to artificial light at night. Plants and animals depend on Earth’s natural cycle of daylight and night-time darkness to govern the rhythms of life sustaining behaviors, including metabolic activity, immune response, feeding behaviors, migration, reproduction, growth, development, and essential sleep. Lab and field studies are starting to fill in the detail of how light pollution can cause profound ecological disruption and potentially collapse. The local IDA chapter has surveyed conditions around Santa Cruz with a nighttime aerial photography, and has started to identify strategies to reduce the most egregious sources of light pollution in our area, while respecting our social and cultural desire for nighttime light.
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