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National Park Service funds studies of Colorado night skies

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dr. Terrel Gallaway, acting department head of economics, and Dr. David Mitchell, associate professor of economics at Missouri State University, received a grant from the National Park Service for $22,000 for their project “Estimating the Potential Value of the Night Skies above the Colorado Plateau.”

Gallaway and Mitchell will be investigating the value of the night sky with regard to tourism in the Colorado Plateau region. The area has many national parks and monuments and it also has very dark, clear skies. One of the things that some park visitors, and others, enjoy is the chance to see skies free from light pollution.

“Dark nights are a fundamental part of the natural environment, yet are severely threatened by light pollution,” said Gallaway. “This light pollution does substantial damage to wildlife, aesthetics and human health. Increasingly, remote locations, such as much of the Colorado Plateau, are the only places wildlife and humans can find naturally dark night skies.”

Through this project, the team hopes to give communities a better idea of whether or not protecting and promoting dark skies will help promote tourism.

For more information, contact Gallaway at (417) 836-5629.

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About Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.

College of Humanities and Public Affairs
The College of Humanities and Public Affairs offers 16 undergraduate, eight graduate and six certificate programs. Departments in the college include criminology and criminal justice, defense and strategic studies, economics, history, military science, philosophy, political science, religious studies, sociology and anthropology. The department of defense and strategic studies is housed in the Washington, D.C. area. The college helps students understand social, political and legal structures, ethical principles, religious systems, and economic institutions and practices within a global, historical, and contemporary context. 

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