Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve was certified as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association in 2019. It is located in southern Colorado and is known for having the tallest dunes in North America, including the towering Star Dune. The high altitude park boasts a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra with great night skies and nocturnal wildlife, and is popular for hiking, camping and sledding. There are summer night programs and a special junior ranger night explorer program for children aged 5-12 (check the website and the visitor centre for information on the programs). An EarthSky community member describes the park as: “Lies at 7,500 feet in the sparsely populated San Luis Valley”
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.