Don Ficken

Protecting the night sky is more than just looking at the stars. It is also about reducing energy costs, improving security and enhancing the quality of life for us and the natural environment around us.

With most of my life focused on business, I must admit that I did not think too much about the night sky. I enjoyed the night sky throughout my life but never thought about light pollution.

That changed in 2008 when I began dabbling into amateur astronomy. Since 2008, I have seen a significant change in light pollution both at my home in Kirkwood, MO and in "dark sky" locations that amateur astronomers use for stargazing. Still, I was not prompted to take action.

It was not until 2018 during a mid-states meeting of the Astronomical League that I learned that Missouri did not have an organized chapter to support the International Dark Sky Association. Wow! That got my attention! It has taken only a few telephone calls to see there is great interest in protecting the night sky in Missouri. With this positive feedback, we have applied to become a Missouri Chapter of IDA and hope to be one soon.

Although the seeds of my concern are based on my experience as an amateur astronomy, I am also an experienced business executive and a nature enthusiast. It is simply good business to reduce wasted energy costs. Nature lovers have long known of the negative impact of artificial light on plants and animals. Reducing light pollution is a win-win for everyone.

Please contact us to learn more about you can help our cause.


Don Ficken, President
International Dark Sky Association - Missouri Chapter