Diane Turnshek Receives Dark Sky Defender Award

Diane Turnshek, part-time lecturer in our department and special lecturer in the Department of Physics, received a Dark Sky Defender Award from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). The award is given in appreciation of the recipients’ efforts to further the IDA's mission to preserve the night skies by promoting quality outdoor nighttime lighting. Turnshek was recognized for her outreach efforts against the spread of light pollution in Pittsburgh. Along with Astro Club presidents Alex Gurvich, a senior physics major, and Matthew Finlay, a 2013 CMU graduate, Turnshek created pghconstellation.com, which features an interactive map with stars marking all the points of astronomical interest in Pittsburgh and an art contest that asks the question, "What is our Pittsburgh constellation?" She also coordinates the Astronomy Enthusiasts list, sending monthly emails with astronomy-related activities to hundreds of Pittsburghers who love the dark, star-filled sky. Turnshek collaborates with CMU’s Remaking Cities Institute, International Earth Hour, the Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (Department of Innovation and Performance) and the Green Building Alliance.