IDA Oregon, established 2019


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"If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I'll bet they'd live a lot differently."

Bill Watterson

IDA Oregon Board Members

Dawn J. Nilson


Portland, OR

As a professional natural resources manager and educator, and as an astronomy enthusiast since the age of 5, Dawn began advocating for dark skies over 10 years ago when she first heard of the biological and astronomical threats from light pollution. In addition to IDA Oregon, she has long served on the board of Rose City Astronomers as its Dark Sky Preservation Director and she is an IDA Delegate.  

Bill Kowalik, PhD

Board Member

Bend, OR

A 35-year career as an earth scientist in research, development and exploration for minerals and petroleum… specialist in remote sensing, image processing, visualization and statistical techniques… previous volunteer work creating video documentaries – Saving Open Space, Living on the Urban Edge, The Story of La Habra Heights… now measuring the level of light pollution in Central Oregon – a step toward reducing light pollution and recognizing our very dark areas too! 

Cathie Flanigan, MBA

Board Member - Treasurer

Bend, OR

Seeing the stars at night is one of Cathie's greatest joys!

She brings her career in business management and financial skills to our chapter's efforts. Her community experience includes work with the award winning, all volunteer "Friends 4 Expo Transit," which, successfully liaisoned the opening of a light rail transit line across Los Angeles to the beach in Santa Monica by connecting neighbors and neighborhoods along the way. Now, her passion is with connecting communities and businesses to recognize and reduce light pollution.

Mary Ann Kruse

Board Member

Bend, OR

Mary Ann's formal and informal education has included a smattering of science disciplines. Her early adult years were spent living and working aboard sailboats--in the era of celestial navigation and sextants. Dark skies were essential and ethereal to life at sea, as were Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, green flashes and the Milky Way spilling over. Mary Ann started Lights Out Bend in 2014 with concerns for the millions of birds v window collisions related to light pollution. She joined IDA Oregon to help bring back the essential and ethereal dark skies of yesteryear.

Mary Coolidge

Board Member

Portland, OR

Mary is a career biologist and conservationist and serves as Portland Audubon's BirdSafe and Lights Out Campaign Coordinator. She has long loved the night sky, but came to dark sky preservation and advocacy work through the study of bird window collisions and factors contributing to this critical conservation issue, including light pollution. She has a deep appreciation for Oregon's magnificent night skies and is committed to working to preserve them both for people and wildlife. Mary is dedicated to efforts to make urban environments more hospitable to wildlife and helping people connect to nature, both day and night. She spends her free time gardening, beekeeping, bird watching, dragon flying, mushroom hunting and escaping into wild spaces.

Michael McKeag

Board Member

Mosier, OR

Retired after 30 years as an electron microscopist in the semiconductor process development team at Intel, with interests spanning the scale range from nanometers to light-years.         An amateur photographer since childhood, an amateur astronomer since a couple of decades ago, a dark skies advocate since helping organize the 2016 Gorge Night Sky Conference, an IDA Delegate since 2018 AGM/ALAN. Currently working with Unihedron to make night sky measurement methods reported in the scientific literature accessible to dark sky advocates. Chronically in pursuit of too many irresistible interests at once. Life is short, the universe in infinite.