Carnegie Mellon University

Diane Turnshek

CMU Faculty Diane Turnshek Receives National and International Attention for Work Stemming from Metro21 Project

August 10-13th, 2023 Calgary, Canada will host the 8th International Conference on Artificial Light at Night. The conference hosts professionals and researchers from around the world to discuss the impact of artificial light pollution on people and the environment. One such professional is Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Physics faculty Diane Turnshek, a Metro21 research partner.

Diane Turnshek is an expert in studying the impacts of light pollution and is helping orchestrate the conference. On March 15, the Smithsonian Museum’s podcast, Sidedoor, will publish a podcast interview with Diane. In addition to discussing the conference and Diane’s research, the podcast discusses a new light pollution exhibit that opens on March 23 at the National Museum of Natural History. Diane’s research has also been receiving international attention with a public television documentary coming out in France and Germany on March 18 through ZDF Plan B. Diane’s expertise in light pollution traces back to a collaboration with Metro 21.

Metro21 and Diane partnered back in 2018 to study the impacts of artificial light in Pittsburgh. Metro21 first publicized their research with Diane Turnshek through a podcast. Then, in 2019 the project report was published, “Artificial Light Survey of Nighttime Pittsburgh.” The project details the detrimental impacts of light pollution on people and the environment.

Metro21 continued to champion the cause of artificial light awareness by partnering with the International Dark Sky Association to host a Dark Skies Conference in Pittsburgh in 2019. The conference welcomed the public and hosted writers, researchers, and advocates from across the country to speak about impact of artificial light pollution.

Diane and Metro21’s efforts were part of the pioneering work that has grown artificial light research into an international focus.