Winter Speaker Series


"Let There Be Dark"
Preserving our Night Skies

Rob Burgess
President, Southern ME Astonomers
and NASA Solar Systerm Ambassador

Wednesday, January 8th,
Following FOMB Annual Meeting & Potluck:
6:00pm (Public Welcome); 7:00pm presentation
Cram Alumni House, Bowdoin College, 83 Federal St
., Brunswick, Maine

New CMP towers in a formerly dark Merrymeeting Bay sky.
Photo: Ed Friedman

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) fourth presentation of their 23nd annual Winter Speaker Series; entitled  “Let There Be Dark”-Preserving our Night Skies, features Rob Burgess, NASA Solar System Ambassador and President, Southern Maine Astronomers. This event takes place 7:00 pm January, 8 at the Bowdoin College Cram Alumni House, 83 Federal St., Brunswick following FOMB’s annual meeting and potluck (open to the public) beginning at 6:00 pm.

Dark night skies are a rapidly diminishing resource on planet Earth and especially in the United States.  Light pollution damages animal habitats, can affect human health and robs us of our cultural heritage and connection to the majestic.  Since every wasted photon was generated in a power plant somewhere, light pollution also contributes to global warming. Come hear a discussion about these trends and actions that are being taken by individuals and organizations, including right here in mid-coast Maine, to preserve our night skies.

By day, Robert Burgess is par t of the senior management team at Bangor Savings Bank.  At night, he’s an avid stargazer, an interest spawned in his youth with our first manned space missions.  Although trained as an attorney, his passion is astronomy.  He shares it as a NASA Solar System Ambassador, and as a member (President) of Southern Maine Astronomers.  At public star parties and at his Brunswick backyard observatory, Rob has hosted thousands of school children and community groups in guided tours of the night sky.  A long-time member of the International Dark Sky Association, Rob has lately been channeling his interest and concern about light pollution into the public policy arena. As a member of the Brunswick Planning Board, Rob has been advocating for better control of outdoor lighting and increasing awareness of the deleterious effects from poor lighting.

FOMB hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, the second Wednesday of each month. The February 12thpresentation, “George Sproule’s Mapping of the Mid-Coast, 1770, held at Curtis Memorial Library, features Matthew Edney, Osher Professor in History of Cartography at USM.  

Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public and supported by Patagonia, Inc. in Freeport. Visit www.fomb.orgto see speaker biographies, full event schedules, video recordings of past presentations, become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay.

For more information contact FOMB at 207-666-3372 or


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler