Western Night Skies Council

About the Council

The preservation and protection of the dark sky is inherently a regional effort, and connection, communication and collaboration among dark-sky advocates often leads to greater success. In an effort to provide a platform for increased communication, connection, and collaboration among dark-sky advocates throughout the Western States, the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative in partnership with the GNAR Initiative created the Western Night Skies Council.

The vision for the Western Night Skies Council (WNSC) is to provide a platform for increasing dialogue, sharing resources and information, and providing mutual support for the diverse groups of night sky conservation advocates throughout the Western United States.

The council is composed of core members representing state and federal agencies, community leaders, tribal nations, educational institutions, non-profits, and local businesses throughout the West. Core council members will have an opportunity to meet virtually on a quarterly basis. The structure of these meetings will be determined based on group input, preferences, and goals.

In addition to council meetings, the council hosts quarterly webinars open to all interested participants. Webinar sessions will provide opportunities for showcasing dark-sky advocacy work, knowledge and skill-sharing, interactive Q&A’s, network building, and other opportunities to learn and connect. Webinars will be recorded and eventually build a Western Night Skies video library.


Aubrey Larsen, CPDSC Coordinator at darkskycooperative@gmail.com
Jake Powell, GNAR Initiative Lead at jake.powell@usu.edu

Click HERE to download a pdf overview of the Western Night Skies Council

Western Night Sky Council Webinar Series





September 28, 2021
(2-3:30pm MDT)
Dark Skies over Public Lands Panel Discussion Recording
June 15, 2021
(2-3:30pm MDT)
lluminating Engineering Society ft. Alex Baker Information Session Recording
April 8, 2021
(2-3:30pm MDT)
Astrophotography: Discovering the Night Panel Discussion Recording
February 3, 2021
(2-3:30pm MDT)
The University of Utah Dark Skies Minor Information Session Recording
Minor Information
January 13, 2021
(2-3:30pm MDT)
Dark Skies of the West: The Final Frontier Panel Discussion Recording
"Useful Light" Graphic
Colorado IDA Starter Kit

Desired Outcomes

  • Increased communication and collaboration between dark-sky advocates
  • Sharing of best practices, tools, resources, information, and skills
  • Clarification as to who is doing what where
  • Amplification of night sky advocate voices
  • Decreased stigmatization of the dark skies movement
  • Entities working together that would not normally do so
  • Opportunities to connect students and young professionals with projects, internships, and career opportunities


  • WNSC Webinar Library: a library of recorded video webinars.
  • WNSC LinkTree Resource Library: Resources and examples shared by other council members
  • Council Member Contact Page: Want to connect with a council member from your State? Find the information you need here.
  • Dark-Sky Toolbox: Dark-sky tools and resources curated by the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative.
  • GNAR Toolkit: More resources for gateway and natural amenity region communities.

About The Dark Sky Cooperatives & GNAR

The Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperatives support and promote landscape-scale night sky conservation efforts throughout two of the darkest remaining regions in the Western U.S. and the GNAR (Gateway & Natural Amenity Regions) Initiative aims to leverage research, education, and capacity building to assist communities, land managers, and others in gateway and natural amenity regions throughout the West in preparing for and responding to planning, development, natural resource management, and public policy challenges.

WDSC Partners