Wren: Dark skies vital to gaining perspective

Friday evening’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math Expo keynote speaker was William Wren, a distinguished and award-winning advocate for dark sky preservation.

Wren has worked at the McDonald Observatory for 29 years and currently is the special assistant to the superintendent. The McDonald Observatory is part of the University of Texas system, located on Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains, 313 miles West of Uvalde. The 500-acre site sits beneath some of the darkest skies in North America, partly due to a 1978 outdoor lighting ordinance maintained by the seven counties surrounding the observatory.

Wren’s work at the observatory involves helping maintain the region’s dark skies. He is responsible for a recent collaboration between the observatory and the petroleum industry. Oil and gas expansion in West Texas threatens the region’s dark sky, and Wren has successfully worked with oil and gas companies to develop lighting guidelines for drilling rigs that are beneficial for both parties.

Read more from Melissa Federspill with Uvalde Leader-News here.