Diane Turnshek

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor



In 1981, my research at Allegheny Observatory, involved observing exoplanets with the MAP array on the 30” Thaw refractor. From 1989 to 2005, I utilized grants from NASA and NSF to extend educational boundaries of the university to the surrounding community, especially targeting gifted children in grades K-12, participated in the annual University Science Academy, and ran career discussions with high school students. I was faculty advisor for Pitt's Dr. Who Club from 2012 to 2018, lecture series coordinator at Allegheny Observatory 2007 to the present, and currently run community engagement for Allegheny Observatory. 

I have a faculty position in the Department of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University. 

In the last dozen years, I've been an advocate for dark skies, locally, statewide, nationally and around the world. I was given the Dark Sky Defender Award by the International Dark Sky Association. For further details of my current light pollution mitigation research, please visit my personal website.

Selected Publications

The benefit of mulciple angle observations for visible band remote sensing using night lights: ProQuest.com

ResearchGate Profile

Google Scholar Profile


Teaching Experience 

At Pitt, I have taught "Physics and Science Fiction," "Stonehenge to Hubble" and "Stars, Galaxies and the Cosmos." I have taught astronomy (2010 and 2014), light pollution (2017) and sustainable housing (2021) classes in Pitt's OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).



Alumni Spotlight

University of Arizona (graduate)

Villanova University (undergraduate)

LinkedIn Profile

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