Blinded by the Light! How Light Pollution Affects the Behavior, Physiology, and Ecology of Birds

Join the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory for a virtual talk to learn how light pollution impacts birds! For 4 billion years, life has evolved under dark nights, brightened only by the moon and stars. The light/dark cycle dictated by the earth’s rotation around the sun is one of the most reliable environmental cues on the planet, and so nearly all living organisms have mechanisms for detecting and responding to light in their environment. Birds use daylight as a cue for all kinds of things – waking up in the morning, breeding in the spring, orientation when migrating, etc. Light pollution disrupts this cue, leading to changes in behavior and physiology, which can scale up to effect whole ecosystems. Join us for this virtual talk to learn about the diverse ways in which light pollution affects our local birds, what this means for the broader ecosystem, and what we (humans) can do about it.

Valentina Alaasam is originally from Virginia, has a B.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation program at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is interested in how animals cope with the changes humans make to our environment. Her dissertation research is focused on the effects of urbanization, and specifically light pollution, on birds. In this field, she also hopes to work towards bridging the gap between humans and their environment and increasing diversity in STEM education.

This talk is recommended for ages 10+. Please register - the Zoom link will be sent in the confirmation. If you have any questions, please contact Sirena Lao, Environmental Education and Outreach Specialist, at [email protected]. This program is possible thanks to support from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Valley Way 524
Milpitas 37° 25' 38.7624" N, 121° 54' 56.2464" W
Start date: 
Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 20:00
End date: 
Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 21:00