Congratulations John Hearnshaw - a Fantastic Achievement
Congratulations to John Hearnshaw was awarded the International Dark-Sky Association’s highest award for 2020, receiving the "Crawford-Hunter Lifetime Achievement Award."
Media release from the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve Board
17 October 2020
New Zealand Astronomer John Hearnshaw Wins International Lifetime Achievement Award
John Hearnshaw, New Zealand astronomer and Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, has been awarded theInternational Dark-Sky Association’shighest award for 2020, receiving the "The Crawford-Hunter Lifetime Achievement Award." This award is named after the two founders of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and represents the highest honour that the IDA bestows upon individuals who, in the course of their lifetime, have contributed an extraordinary effort to light pollution abatement.
John was the Director of Mt John Observatory from1976 to 2008. During this time, he took steps to protect the observatory from encroaching outdoor lighting from the nearby Tekapo Village. Specifically, he lobbied the Mackenzie District Council to include lighting regulations in their District Plan. This goal was achieved in 1981.
In 2010, these regulations were extended to include a large expansion of land inclusive of the town of Twizel. Consequently, this regulation’s control of light led to the 2012 designation of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve (AMIDSR). After this success, John formed the AMIDSR Board and was elected Chair, a role he held until September this year. He continues to be a driving force for the board, especially in organizing Starlight Festivals in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Under John’s leadership, the AMIDSR was awarded the International Dark-Sky Association Dark Sky Place of the Year 2018.
Then, in 2019, John was the principal organizer of the New Zealand Starlight Conference. This IDA sponsored conference brought together participants from different backgrounds to discuss the inter-related themes of dark-sky protection. These themes include the effects of artificial light at night on star-gazing, the environment, and human health. John is an active member of the International Astronomical Union. He is especially involved with education, outreach, and protection of the night sky. Additionally, he is a member of IUCN Dark Sky Advisory Group. Further, John is the National Focal Point for New Zealand in the UNESCO Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative.
For quotes or more information, please contact:
Chair, Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve Board
Phone: 027 351 1562 www.darkskyreserve.org.nz
Administrator, Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve Board
Phone: 027 545 1519
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