As per our phone conversation, I will need to step down from the Chapter Leader position for the Arkansas Chapter. My increased work schedule as a Training and Exercise Coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Health's Preparedness and Emergency Response Branch plus the birth my daughter has pretty much eaten away any free time for extra curricular activities. With this, may I introduce to you and your colleagues my replacement, Darrell Heath:
Darrell Heath has been fascinated with the natural world since a very young age. He currently is a staff member in the Biology Department of the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas (UALR). His academic interests are mainly in the areas of vertebrate zoology and include the ecology and behavior of bats as well as amphibians and reptiles.
Darrell is also an avid amateur astronomer and is the host, writer, and producer for the UALR Television series The Night Sky. He has served two consecutive Presidential terms for the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society (CAAS), President for the Arkansas Herpetological Society (AHS), and is currently a volunteer with the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador program.
Darrell’s leadership and guidance established the River Ridge Robotic Observatory for specific scientific research for dedicated CAAS members and students from the Arkansas Tech University (ATU).
8218 Leatrice Drive
Little Rock, AR 72227
I believe one of Darrell's first agenda's is to invite members from the Autoban Society and local photography clubs to actively become members within the Chapter and run for elected positions. I am in favor of this concept to spread the responsibilities among different interest groups and not just focus on astronomy organizations.
Susan, as Jim Fisher did for me, I will do for Darrell. I will stay on as Vice-Chapter Leader to assist and guide Darrell as needed so that he may immerse himself within his new position.
We’ve had some changes during my tenure. As of this email, the current officers for the Arkansas Chapter are as follows:
Current IDA Officer Positions:
Chapter Leader: Darrell Heath
Vice-Chapter Leader: Andrew Hradesky
Secretary: Dave Grosvold (position open)
Member-at-Large: Leonard Lynch
Member-at-Large: Charley McLane
Chapter Leader Appointed Position:
Public Information Coordinator: James Bruce McMath
Also, we disabled our Twitter account due to the lack of use. Please update all pertinent information on the DarkSky.org website and remove our Twitter hyper-link.
I wish to thank you all for a wonderful experience for my year as Chapter Leader. It was a rewarding time where I was able to facilitate lectures and meet some very interesting people to include the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).
As I said before and I’ll say again. Arkansas’ state slogan is The Natural State. I truly believe we are THE battlefield between the light polluted east and the dark skies of the west. The terminator line is here, the light pollution war is here, and the ignorance is here. This is the last line of defense for the rest of the country and the mega corporations on electricity and land development are bulling their might in the name of business and progress. Yes, it is here!! This is my humble opinion . . . IDA needs to have a much more active role regarding the happenings within this natural state of Arkansas; and not just as phone/email guidance and then let the Chapter handle its battle. We are all in this together and you all know this is a loosing war. What will our children’s children say about our generation? Nothing, for they will never know what a dark sky is and all our efforts are lost in the overly brightness of glaring, non-shielded lights that turned night into day.
With Sincere Gratitude,
Andrew Hradesky, K5PMO
Pine Mountain Observatory
Conway, AR 72034