Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest national park in Canada, is located 430 miles (690 km) north of Edmonton, near the northern border of Alberta. The park was designated in 2013 the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. With dark skies approaching level 1 in the Bortle scale, the park features superb conditions for amateur astronomy. Year-round backcountry permits are available, while front country camping (with self-registration) is available from May to September. There are no gates to enter the park and observation sites remain open year-round, although precautions are needed during the winter because of potentially dangerous conditions. A Dark Sky Festival hosted by the Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society (https://www.tawbas.ca/) is scheduled every year in August.
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.