Project Report: “Save the Night” Amanda Apicella and Max Kerns

Save the Night   

12.01.2016

Amanda Apicella and Max Kerns

Summary

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” ~Neil Armstrong

During the process of putting together our project we were inspired by many communities around the United States that have initiated policy in order to reduce light pollution. Humankind has long had a deep and meaningful connection to the cosmos. It is through this connection, that dreams are inspired, questions are born, and we dare to hope.

OWU has also had a lasting history in Astronomy, since the late 1800s. One particular figure, Hiram Mills Perkins, a long time Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, made great efforts to provide facilities to better the ability of learning about our universe. His donation of two facilities, provided many benefits. The Student Observatory, at Ohio wesleyan, was built in the early 1900s and is still in use by students today. The second, Perkins Observatory was built just south of Delaware City on State route 23. Perkins observatory has been host to numerous research teams from Ohio Wesleyan University and  The Ohio State University. It was even on the grounds of Perkins observatory that the WOW signal was heard, using the Big Ear radio telescope.

So putting together these ideas, those of a reduction in light pollution and being able to reconnect to a enriched past, we began to look for ways to incorporate a model of reducing light usage. It was not long that we found that some of these concepts had been brought up before as ways to help greening of Ohio Wesleyan Campus and greatly reduce energy needs. Furthermore we found innovative programs from other universities throughout the United States. This combined with Earth Hour programs seemed a logical step in bringing several projects together on a campus initiative to save money, reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce light pollution, in hopes to save the night sky.

Methods and Results

Previous research Proposals:

In order to move forward with the “Save the Night Project” we wanted to try and merge some information from the past and implement these with our project.

Lights Out OWU – Proposed by Brendan Wood and Varalie Vanichstin

Recommendation:

This project definitely has potential to be made into something. From where the project can go from here there are several options. One of the first ideas to work to calculate the actual figures of power draw from before the lights are shut off more regularly and what they will be afterwards. Another idea to help construct a student group that could be responsible for helping promote this idea of helping to keep lights and equipment off when not in use. This group could also be put to work to help shut the lights off, initially perhaps before weekends and from there an even more regularly weekly event. If properly managed this could definitely be fostered into a solid initiative to help promote the idea and actual practice of being more green and safer to the environment.

Incandescent Suppressant Fluorescent Project – Proposed by Andrea Mac Vay and Sean Kinghorn

Recommendations

With regards to this university, acceptance of this proposal would be highly recommended. The university would benefit greatly in electricity costs while also enjoying the benefits of having conducted an environmentally-friendly project that will bring attention to the campus. However, most recommendations with this project involve the problems with LED technology itself. The City of Pittsburgh also conducted an extensive exterior lighting retrofit and discovered it would be most beneficial to replace all fixtures rather than merely replacing the lamps – a question that was debated in this project as well. Though it would initially cost more money, this study condones this course of action, as well as encouraging more research to be conducted on LED lights. The original cost of this project may appear daunting to members of the board, but the reality is that the long-term benefits will be innumerable. Currently, the university’s ten year energy costs exceed $340,000, but if the LED lights provided by Eco Lumens are installed, this cost will be reduced to just under $57,500 (Appendix 2). It seems ridiculous to not support this project when presented with such numbers, and if one also considers the environmental benefits it seems the project is a guaranteed success.

Combination of Ideas:

Using Lights out proposal along with a campus wide initiative to reduce electricity costs, savings could then be used to implement new lighting as lights deteriorate or are need of repair. We recommend when replacing lighting to use more effective lights that reduce light pollution. Also using these initiatives savings could be tracked to also help facilitate the process. The more that Ohio Wesleyan saves the more the university can use to replace the current lighting. The lighting then saves more money, with less electric being used, to then foster replacing more lights.

[Detailed description of the project. Include your question or goal for the project, relevant sources of information (articles, books, web sites, people, etc.). Describe what you did, how you did it, and the outcome of your project. Please include details including how you did things, created/made things, planned, etc. Include the outcomes, including problems you encountered, and suggestions for future work.]

Recommendations

Earth Hour Promise:

The idea is really quite simple. Turn off all non-essential lighting on OWU campus. Get student and faculty to commit to one hour. Earth Hour 25 March 2017, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. Hopefully this will create interest in Earth Hour and the message of #changeclimatechange. We can use this initiative to get a meaningful dialogue started about reducing our energy in a simple way. With long term benefits of saving the night, and reducing light pollution.

Depending on time and budget, It would be nice to have an event on the Jay where donations could be received for Earth Hour. One simple idea would be to sell led candles for $10 representing OWU’s commitment to bringing back the night. This could hopefully turn into an annual event that would focus on climate issues keep the dialogue alive.

Potential model for Delaware Community:

Hopefully with enough participation, in the future we could use models from OWU to further this Earth Hour event to the community of Delaware. Helping to reduce light pollution for the city and saving money as well. Then using the same model to retrofit city lighting into more useful and energy efficient varieties.  This would be the “Skies the Limit” project that would help get the community involved. It would also be nice to see Perkins get involved.

Contacts

Max Kerns: Mdkerns@owu.edu

Amanda Apicella: aeapicel@owu.edu

Appendix

Potential model for Delaware Community:

Hopefully with enough participation, in the future we could use models from OWU to further this Earth Hour event to the community of Delaware. Helping to reduce light pollution for the city and saving money as well. Then using the same model to retrofit city lighting into more useful and energy efficient varieties.  This would be the “Sky’s the Limit” project that would help get the community involved. It would also be nice to see Perkins get involved.

Things to consider:

History at OWU with astronomy.

http://perkins.owu.edu/ <- info on the Perkins Observatory. Only observatory in Ohio that provides public programs to tens of thousands of people every year. Founded by OWU.

Can’t find as much about student observatory though :/ Maybe try to get more info or contact someone in charge of it

Laying out the project plan for this years Earth Hour.

Putting together additional information. This year it might be as simple as getting the message out about Earth Hour.

Future initiatives to get the City of Delaware involved. (energy saving)

Possibly inquire about potentially adding top covers for outdoor lighting to limit the amount of light that travels upwards. The lights near Austin Manor could use covers and could inquire about that.

Additional Resources:

Earth Hour Link

Emerson Link:

Huffington Posts

Cornell Link:

University of Alberta Link:

Light Pollution Link:

History:

Perkins

Perkins II

Student Observatory

General Information Light Pollution:

Wiki

save-the-night

 

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