We work closely with our community groups surrounding the Dark Sky Park and encourage local involvement. The Friends of Mayo Dark Skies is a group of volunteers who have become ambassadors for the Mayo Dark Sky Park.
They are a community voice on the Dark Sky project and work with Mayo County Council and other authorities to raise awareness of light pollution and help develop the Dark Skies concept for everyone to enjoy.
Projects such as Citizen Scientist Light Pollution Monitoring and The Dark Sky Ambassador Programme are organised through the Friends of Mayo Dark Skies.
There are many ongoing citizen science projects relating to Dark Skies, these involve taking light pollution measurements and audits. Mayo Dark Sky Park is grateful to any community groups or individuals wishing to take part in these projects in Mayo. Here are the most prominent projects that Mayo has engaged with to date:
The Globe at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations from a computer or smart phone.
This is a really valuable collaborative programme and will help us with the goal to expand Mayo into a Dark Sky County. It is also part of international research and Mayo previously contributed to the pilot programme and has been invited to do so again in the expanded project. It requires a 20 minute web based tutorial and here are some guidelines:
Step 1: Do the tutorial (takes ~20 minutes)
Step 2: Get the app on phone & register
Step 3: Make sure the app is working on your phone (check the FAQ if it doesn’t show your location)
Step 4: Survey lights (same street at least two times with at least 1 hour between counts)
Step 5 (optional): Check out your personal impact on overall project statistics
All you need is on the link – Nachlight Buehne Nighlights
Although paused for 2023, this Citizen Science project has reached thousands of people in the UK and in 2023 was extended to include Ireland. It is a useful tool to gauge the astronomical quality of night skies and get families and young people involved in Stargazing.
Dark Sky Training Programmes
Dark Sky Ambassador Programme “Carpe Noctem”
Designed for the community advocate and those interested in helping Mayo become a destination, free from light pollution and promoting best practice lighting for communities under dark skies.
This is the latest evolution of the original programme for communities launched in 2017. Dark Sky Ambassadors receive a full day’s training on dark sky places and accreditation requirements, the impact of light pollution and some technical information on lighting, how to reduce light pollution and how to engage with local stakeholders as well as some basic stargazing resources.
Ambassadors who complete the Carpe Noctem training programme are asked to promote the dark sky project to local groups and stakesholders by providing information on better lighting and reducing light pollution.
The Programme is a certified course and is designed to help local people learn about the objectives and goals of a Dark Sky Park and how they can contribute to raising awareness of light pollution.
Dark Sky Champions Training
Designed for the hospitality trade to engage in dark sky tourism for their business and encourage new innovations in off season ecotourism. The Champions course provides training for local trade and customer service staff who may interact with visitors to the Mayo Dark Sky Park.
A half day workshop which includes a basic introduction to stargazing and resources for tourism partners so those in the trade know what the Dark Sky Park is and what visitors can expect to see.The workshop is designed to build confidence amongst participants who have to deal with the general public, but who themselves are not experts in the night sky.
The workshops will also discuss innovations in dark sky tourism and foster new ideas for businesses to get involved in the dark sky initiative. This course normally takes place in early spring.
We ask all participants to commit to one action for dark skies as a result of Mayo.
If you wish to get involved in any of the community projects; please contact email@example.com