Join four local residents who have been tracking the conversion of Santa Fe’s streetlights in an educational roundtable discussion about how outdoor lighting can impact our sense of place, the health of animals and humans, night time safety, and our ability to see the stars. Please share this invitation with your friends and neighbors, as the streetlight conversion is on the verge of happening, and now is your time to learn more before the City’s May 10th deadline for comments. Bring your questions, too!

We hope you’ll join us! To get a link to the discussion, register here.


Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe. Photo by Eric Saltmarsh.


About the Participants

Lee Samuel (Sam) Finn is a retired astrophysicist. He earned his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology in 1987. He taught at Cornell University and Northwestern University, then in 1998 he moved to Penn State as a professor in a joint appointment in the Physics and Astronomy and Astrophysics departments. In 2001 he was named the first Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Physics Frontier Center for Gravitational Physics. He was the founding Chief Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, and also specialty section editor for the journal’s Cosmology section.

François-Marie Patorni, a French-American living in Santa Fe, completed his post-graduate studies in France and earned his MBA from the Wharton School in Philadelphia. He embarked on a career at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., that over decades took him to most parts of the world. Author of the French in New Mexico and an advocate for public policy reform, Patorni remains active in local and international issues. As a member of several astronomy organizations, he sees preserving the night skies as an integral part of environmental stewardship.

Peter Lipscomb began his education and advocacy for sensible lighting practices nearly two decades ago. During that time, he has backed legislative actions on the state level, supported outdoor lighting ordinance efforts in Clayton and Union County, Rio Arriba County, and Taos and Taos County. As former Night Sky Program Director for the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance, he compiled the nomination packet to designate Clayton Lake State Park New Mexico’s first International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. A 2016 honoree of the Stewart Udall award, today he serves as Cerrillos Hills State park manager and conducts guided night sky tours for residents and visitors to New Mexico as owner of Astronomy Adventures.

Moderated by Terry Smith, who is a long time Santa Fe resident who, along with his wife Susan Munroe, practiced real estate until their retirement in 2018.  During that time, Terry served for three years as board chair of the  Santa Fe Conservation Trust.  Terry served for many years as a senior policy and congressional relations staff member of the National Governors’ Association in Washington, DC before becoming the founding director of the State of Florida’s DC office.