Under One Sky 2021


November 12 – 13  ·  A Virtual, Worldwide Event  · #UnderOneSky2021

Join the International Dark-Sky Association for Under One Sky 2021 – a 24-hour virtual event that will leave you feeling inspired and empowered to combat light pollution in your community. You’ll hear from experts and storytellers in the dark sky movement, connect with passionate individuals from IDA’s global network, and learn about hands-on activities and tools that you can use to protect the night through engagement workshops. 

Registration is free but required. 

2021 Speakers

Annette Lee

Keynote SpeakerAparna VenkatesanUSA

Who Owns the Night Sky?

Aparna Venkatesan is a cosmologist working on studies of the first stars and quasars in the universe. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of San Francisco, and a former NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow. She will discuss the impact of initiatives such as satellite swarms on the essential human right to dark skies and the inclusion of marginalized and underrepresented communities in developing ethical inclusive policies for sustainable space exploration.

Jeff Dai

Nurul Syahirah Binti NazarudinMalaysia

The Significance of Dark Sky in Works of Art: From the Past to the Future, and its Importance in Bringing Light Pollution Awareness

 Nurul Syahirah Binti Nazarudin, also known as Syahirah Stargazer in the online community, is an artist astronomer and dark sky advocate in Malaysia. She strives to spread awareness of astronomy and the importance of dark skies through her passion for astronomy and art. Syahirah will discuss how and why art is a powerful tool to spread light pollution and dark sky awareness.

Rayan Khan Headshot

Rayan KhanPakistan

Unconventional Approach for Dark Sky Advocacy 

Rayan Khan was born and raised in “The City of Lights” Karachi, Pakistan. He completed his Master’s degree in Space Science with a specialization in Astrophysics from the Institute of Space Science and Technology, University of Karachi. Rayan will present on using an unconventional approach where you collaborate, share knowledge about the importance of the dark sky with people around you, keeping in mind the focal goals to achieve through art, entertainment, fashion to inspire the future next-generation having shared vision.

Rayan Khan Headshot

Samyukta ManikumarKenya

Astrotourism and Reframing Perceptions of Darkness

Samyukta is an amateur astronomer from Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently a member of the IDA International Committee. She works on designing experiences to help people connect with darkness and the night sky and hopes to harness dark skies to promote sustainability, nature conservation, and heritage preservation. She will present on lessons learned from introducing an astrotourism pilot project into Kenyan game reserves, and how to talk about light pollution in a way that makes people care.

Rayan Khan Headshot

Rémi BoucherCanada

Long-Term Protection of the Night: Challenges and Successes of IDA’s First and Largest Dark Sky Reserve

Rémi Boucher is the scientific coordinator of the Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve in Québec, Canada. Passionate about sharing and protecting the night sky experience, he is currently a member of the IDA International Committee and received the Dark Sky Defender Award in 2015. By its very nature, a Dark Sky Reserve is a large, diverse, and inhabited territory, and therefore it is in constant evolution. As we enter the 15th year since certification, Rémi will present some of the Reserve’s best achievements in lighting, outreach, monitoring, and regulations.

Rayan Khan Headshot

Nobuaki OchiJapan

Growing Interest in Dark Skies Among Local Authorities and Lighting Manufacturers in Japan

Nobuaki Ochi is an associate professor at Toyo University, a member of the IDA International Committee, and the leader of the IDA Tokyo chapter. After he obtained a doctorate on the subject of cosmic ray physics, he is now studying light pollution from the viewpoint of environmental education. He will talk about recent successes of Kozushima Island, Tokyo, and Bisei Town, Okayama, where most of the outdoor light fixtures were replaced to protect dark skies. The projects were greatly supported by lighting manufacturers Iwasaki Electric and Panasonic. Please don’t miss pictures showing how nighttime environments have been surprisingly changed!

Rayan Khan Headshot

Alejandro SommerArgentina

Cultures at Night: The Guarani People’s and the Meaning of the Night

Alejandro is the Astrotourism Coordinator in the Province of Misiones. Member of the SIAC (Society of Astronomy in Culture – CONICET) Professor Galileo, Environmental activist and protector of the skies. He will present how the dark sky movement is not only about conserving the skies, but also about the amplitude and how it affects nature and the original cultures. When we say that we are under a “Guarani Sky,” we truly mean it.

Rayan Khan Headshot
Rayan Khan Headshot

Abhishek Pawse & Deep AnandIndia

Sailing Through a Change, Sailing to a Change

Abhishek is a passionate astrophotographer and visual astronomer who knows the value of dark skies. He successfully convinced his local authorities to dim the street lights in his city to reduce light pollution. Deep is the founder/president of the Save Our Stars initiative working to spread awareness and educate the general public about the problem of light pollution. He believes in following ingenious and unconventional methods for outreach and education. Their presentation will include the journey, efforts, and obstacles faced by both the speakers along with the work done by them for dark sky advocacy in India. It’ll be a step-to-step overview on how through outreach and awareness followed by approaching the local government and working on bigger projects with the government, they commenced the establishment of a dark sky community in India. Even though we work individually, both fields are deeply connected and rely upon each other for proper outputs.

2021 Engagement Workshops

Dark City Walkswith Landon BannisterIntermediate

Sometimes when it comes to selling the issues of light pollution, sometimes it is a case of seeing is believing. This workshop is aimed at sharing some of the successes and mistakes that we’ve learned from running dark city walks over the last 4 years. We’ll cover how to structure a dark city walk, as well as the type of learning outcomes you can find and how best to present them to your audience.

The Stargazer as Storytellerwith Mary Stewart AdamsIntermediate

From the civilization-forming influence of the stars evidenced in ancient cultures to the dramatic shift in humanity’s relationship to the celestial world dating from the 16th century’s scientific revolution, we arrive in the 21st century, where light pollution diminishes views of the sky for most of the world’s population. In this session, Star Lore Historian Mary Stewart Adams will share how to make use of humanity’s rich cultural arts to inspire advocacy, both in relation to our natural environments and particularly in relation to the night sky. Once upon a time, every star had a name, and in every name was a story. What consequence in contemporary human culture, and for the Earth, that we are being cut off from this source of inspiration?

Tips and Tricks for International Dark Sky Place Applicationswith Ashley WilsonIntermediate

Nothing quite embodies the dark-sky movement as one of IDA’s prestigious International Dark Sky Places (IDSP), but starting a nomination from scratch is no small feat. In this workshop, Ashley Wilson, IDA’s own Director of Conservation, will lead an engaging conversation to provide tips and tricks on how to find resources, support, and insight on how you can successfully nominate and lead your own Dark Sky Place application.

Discovering Stargazing Locations with the Meet Star Gazers Mobile Appwith Sujay PatilBeginner

Amongst amateur astronomy circles, it is a well known that the best telescope is not the biggest one but the one that you use most often. It is my personal conviction that the same reasoning applies to stargazing locations. The best stargazing location is not necessarily the darkest one but the one that you can access and visit most often. In this workshop, I propose to take our participants through the process of characterizing any stargazing location. As a result, participants will get to know the Meet Star Gazers mobile app and understand its usage to find locations for stargazing.

Sujay Patil Headshot

A Retrofit Gone Rightwith Tim BrothersAdvanced

Many of us have been frustrated with the all-to-common bad streetlight retrofit from HPS to LED technology. The results are often the same: high glare, excessive brightness, increased quantity of blue light and disappointed residents. We also find that many of these failed projects correlate with a lack of public engagement. Here we will examine how inclusion of public opinion and how pivoting from activist to adviser resulted in the most nighttime-friendly streetlights in the northeastern United States. After summarizing the approach, we will discuss your city’s future lighting project and how to get a seat at the table.

Tim Brothers Headshot

Lighting for Safety and CPTEDwith Art HushenIntermediate

With increased emphasis on the night sky and lighting, CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) strategies are often overlooked as part of the process for lighting design. Issues with light pollution, glare, and light trespass are not thoroughly addressed as part of lighting and safety. Under the CPTED model, lighting is used for the illumination human activity. Where this activity takes place and the type of lighting provided are critical when it comes to improving the overall feeling of safety. As people use the space and take ownership, there are fewer opportunities for crime.

Tim Brothers Headshot

Letter to Your Neighborwith Adam KreuzerBeginner

 Adam will share information, including his letters, about his current successful two-year campaign to persuade his neighbors to be more dark sky friendly. As a result of his letters and interactions with his neighbors, Adam’s neighbors have responded favorably. Not only are his neighbors more dark sky friendly, but they are also more aware of how artificial light at night affects our wildlife friends, including our nocturnal pollinators.

Tim Brothers Headshot

Educate People About the Dark Skies, We Must.with Dajana BjelajacBeginner

If you are a beginner in the dark sky movement or you’re feeling alone in your surroundings where too few people care about the night sky, this workshop will provide you with the tools and ideas for fun and engaging events where you can turn people to the dark side! And then, once you gather a group of enthusiasts such as yourself, you have to keep them inspired and teach them how to be leaders themselves. As Master Yoda said “Smaller in number are we, but larger in mind”, so even if you start with a small group, you can teach them about the importance of the dark skies, and big changes will definitely be on their way.

Tim Brothers Headshot

Finding Values in the Dark: Exploring Dark Skies Through Art and Designwith Taylor StoneIntermediate

How can we draw attention to the value(s) of darkness, especially for those who may not have regular access to dark skies? One powerful tool is art and design, which can provide a lens through which to see nighttime lighting from a new perspective. This workshop will discuss and analyze projects that reflect upon the profound effects of artificial illumination and the state of the world after dark. We will discuss the different values, and value conflicts brought to light via the work of different artists and photographers, and how such projects could contribute to advocacy work and policymaking.

Tim Brothers Headshot

#SharingOurStarswith Deep AnandBeginner

Social media has emerged as the most efficient way to connect and share with people all around the globe. These platforms provide a wonderful opportunity for us dark sky enthusiasts to share the word about light pollution and dark sky advocacy with more people than ever. Through social media, we get a much greater possibility of reaching out to an audience that stands apart from the astronomy, stargazing enthusiasts. In this workshop, Deep will be covering the different yet simple methods to use social media as a tool for dark sky advocacy. The workshop will include a basic explanation of producing creative yet factual content that easily appeals to the audience.

Tim Brothers Headshot

The Current Status of Light Pollution Research: A Presentation of the ALAN Literature Database + Q&Awith Christopher KybaBeginner

In this workshop, Christopher Kyba will present a condensed summary of “what we know, and what we know we don’t know” when it comes to light pollution in the fields of biology, ecology, health, and physics. He will then present the publicly available Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) literature database, which was developed and supported by IDA and LoNNe. The session will conclude with an open question-and-answer session, where Christopher will do his best to answer any and all audience members’ questions related to academic light pollution research.

Tim Brothers Headshot

Light Display Buildwith Ryan AndreasenIntermediate

This workshop will take a look at Ryan’s outreach light display that he often uses for his outreach programs. You will explore the construction and the use of these examples to bring our message front and center. Bring your ideas and recommendations to make this a better tool for all of us to use.

Tim Brothers Headshot

Your Path to a Fun Festival Celebrating the Nightwith Cindy Luongo CassidyAdvanced

Want to organize a festival where delight, intense interest, joy, amazement, concentration, laughter, dancing, and a growing appreciation for the night are exhibited by attendees? Where the most common comment is “Amazing Event”? Where the experience will help people change their habits? Start here and add your imagination.

Tim Brothers Headshot

Pasos Simplescon Sergio Emilio Montúfar CodoñerPrincipiante

Los métodos de captura de luz en ambientes de poca luz, se reducen a la comprensión técnica del equipo que tenemos disponible y comprender la naturaleza del entorno que nos rodea. En este taller, aprenderemos a realizar una astrofotografía de paisaje siguiendo una serie de pasos simples y fáciles de aplicar en cualquier ambiente de poca luz. 

Tim Brothers Headshot

Sky Quality Meters for Dark Sky Certification and Tracking Change Over Timewith Bill Kowalik & Mike McKeagAdvanced

Join Bill Kowalik and Mike McKeag from IDA Oregon for this in-depth workshop on installing a data logging sky quality meter. Participants will learn how to continuously record the sky’s brightness overhead through days, weeks, seasons, and years of time. Bill and Mike will show you how to set up and deploy a recording SQM, how to download the data and extract useful information from it for Dark Sky Place certification, and for tracking light pollution over time. All in 45 minutes – don’t miss it!

Tim Brothers Headshot
Tim Brothers Headshot


Sessions will happen across 24 hours beginning with a global opening on Friday, November 12 at 2:00 PM PST (10:00 PM UTC). Then, the conference will move to three regional sessions loosely based on timezones on Saturday, November 13. Each regional session will be followed by engagement workshops. Then, conference attendees will come back together for a global closing session at 2:00 pm PST (10:00 PM UTC). There will also be networking opportunities and an awards ceremony during the conference. 

Global Opening

Friday, November 12

2:00 PM PST
5:00 PM EST
10:00 PM GMT/UTC
9:00 AM AEDT (November 13)

Regional Session #1

E & SE Asia, Australia, and New Zealand

Saturday, November 13

7:00 PM PST (November 12)
10:00 PM EST (November 12)
2:00 PM AEDT

  • Nurul Syahirah Binti Nazarudin – The Significance of Dark Sky in Works of Art: From the Past to the Future, and its Importance in Bringing Light Pollution Awareness
  • Nobuaki Ochi Growing Interest in Dark Skies Among Local Authorities and Lighting Manufacturers in Japan

Regional Session #2

Europe, Middle East, Africa, India

Saturday, November 13

2:00 AM PST
5:00 AM EST
10:00 AM GMT/UTC
9:00 PM AEDT

Regional Session #3

North and South America

Saturday, November 13

9:00 AM PST
12:00 PM EST
4:00 AM AEDT (November 14)

  • Alejandro Sommer – Cultures at Night: The Guarani People’s and the Meaning of the Night
  • Rémi Boucher – Long-Term Protection of the Night: Challenges and Successes of IDA’s First and Largest Dark Sky Reserve

Global Closing

Saturday, November 13

2:00 PM PST
5:00 PM EST
10:00 PM GMT/UTC
9:00 AM AEDT (November 14)



T-shirts & hoodies
Available in several colors

Join Us!

November 12 – 13, 2021
Free (but registration is required)