Natalie Marr

Natalie Marr

Room 417
East Quadrangle

Research Title

Skies Above, Earth Below: Mapping the Values of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park

Research Summary

Skies Above, Earth Below: Mapping the Values of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park

My current research is focused on exploring the values of Dark Sky Places, designated areas in which light pollution is greatly reduced for the protection and preservation of the night sky. Organisations such as the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC), and the Starlight Initiative are leading efforts to translate renewed public consciousness of the night sky into practical and meaningful action.

Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park in South West Scotland is one such Place, awarded with Gold Tier status from the IDA in 2009. My project will map the life of the Dark Sky Park, its unique approach to dark skies practice, and the various communities - human and more-than-human - that shape and sustain it. My work takes the shape of a 'creative ethnography' approaching the Dark Sky Park as a creative crucible for interdisciplinary research, and asks what does a Dark Sky Place do and how do we think and move with it - where does that take us?

Specific strands focus on:

  • encounter(s) and the experiential
  • darkness (and light) as creative material
  • sensory geographies
  • creative practice in the field
  • 'placing' the Universe: dark skies practice
  • designations, stewardship, commons



Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award Studentship, 2016 - 2020


Present teaching:

Geography Level 1 Tutor

Geography Level 2 Tutor