The LI has announced two recipients of its 2017 Student Travel Award. Ruth Chittock, Kingston University and Isabel Swift, Leeds Beckett University have been awarded funding for a single trip anywhere in the world where they can learn more about this year’s LI topic, ‘healthy landscapes’.
The night sky is ingrained in human culture … it has inspired generations of poets, philosophers, scientists, and writers alike
The LI awards judges were impressed with the in-depth and unique proposals of both winners. Congratulations to Ruth, a Masters of Landscape Architecture student at Kingston University, who chosen focus is the adverse effects on health and well-being of light pollution, and how landscape design can ameliorate these impacts. Ruth plans to visit the Great Basin National Park, a designated Dark Sky Park in Nevada, in September.
‘The night sky is ingrained in human culture,’ Ruth said. ‘It is a universal heritage which we share with millions of people across the globe and it has inspired generations of poets, philosophers, scientists, and writers alike. My aim is to investigate how light pollution is leading to the loss of our night skies and how this is affecting us both physically and mentally. I am really excited to meet with people who are working to protect this incredible natural heritage and try to understand what can be done in the future.’
Great Basin National Park, Nevada is comprised of 31,230 hectares of U.S. federal lands centered on the eponymous Great Basin, a dry and mountainous region between the Sierra Nevada of California and the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, USA. Situated north of Las Vegas, Nevada, the Park protects stands of ancient bristlecone pine trees, the world’s oldest known non-clonal organisms, and the Lehman Caves at the base of 3,982-meter Wheeler Peak.
The Park is located in one of the least-populated regions of the lower 48 U.S. states, and the typical basin-and-range topography of the Great Basin serves to help shield the site from sky-glow from distant cities. The result is a truly notable dark-sky resource worth protecting. To this end, the Park has undertaken efforts to improve its own lighting as well as to educate both Park visitors and residents of neighboring communities on the importance of dark skies at Great Basin and the need to protect them.