Jordan Perzik - Committed to Environment, Ethnography, and Astronomy
About Jordan Perzik
Jordan Perzik is an environmental conservationist, an enthusiast
of regional art and architectural preservation, an archaeologist, and an
ethnographer based in Los Angeles. Also harboring a profound interest
in astronomy, which serves as a source of inspiration for his
environmental conservation efforts, Jordan Perzik has collaborated with
prominent Los Angeles astronomers to encourage science education. Mr.
Perzik is a member of the International Dark-Sky Association, in which
he is a proponent for the use of cutting-edge technology that can aid in
the preservation of the night sky for the fulfillment of future
As a member of the Carnegie Institute for Science’s Mount Wilson Observatory, Jordan Perzik has invested more than 100 hours to the study of galaxies, protoplanetary nebulae, and globular clusters using George Ellery Hale’s historic 60-inch telescope. He is also a life member of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, Griffith Observatory, and Caltech Astronomy’s Palomar Observatory. He holds a master's degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University.
An Introduction to Globular Clusters
A doctoral student at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California, Jordan Perzik actively engages an interest in astronomy that enhances his clinical abilities. Jordan Perzik has logged more than 100 hours in the study of globular clusters and other interstellar phenomena at the Carnegie Institution for Science's Mount Wilson Observatory.
When observing a galaxy, astronomers may find a group of stars that seem to have gathered in a spherical formation. Scientists call these groupings globular clusters, and contemporary research has shown that they are frequently of a similar age. Globular clusters in our own Milky Way galaxy, for example, tend to appear in the galaxy's oldest regions and include some of the oldest stars.
The Milky Way's globular clusters are a minimum of 10 billion years old and contain primarily low- and intermediate-mass stars. Furthermore, while the younger stars in the galaxy possess high concentrations of heavy metal, the stars in globular clusters tend to be metal poor. These differences that distinguish globular cluster stars from the galaxy's newer stellar inhabitants have made clusters of high interest to astronomers who seek to better understand galactic formation.
Three Ways to See the Stars in Los Angeles
Clinical psychology PhD candidate Jordan Perzik attends the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. An astronomy enthusiast and longtime resident of Southern California, Jordan Perzik has clocked more than 100 hours observing California’s night sky through the historic 60-inch telescope created by George Ellery Hale. Though many residents of Los Angeles do not access telescopes of this scale, the following locations in the area can help astronomy devotees escape light pollution and provide them with excellent views of the Southern California stars.
The Santa Monica Mountains
To the west of downtown Los Angeles lie the Santa Monica Mountains, where viewers can take in the stars from both Topanga and Malibu Creek State Parks. For those who want to turn stargazing into an overnight trip, designated camping spots are available throughout Malibu Creek State Park.
Griffith Observatory offers the community an opportunity to see celestial objects through the use of public telescopes. Professionals who work at the observatory are also available to help new astronomy fans operate the telescopes every night until 9:45 p.m.
While visitors to the UCLA Planetarium may not be able to directly see the stars overhead, the planetarium does offer free shows on Wednesday nights, where attendees can learn more about constellations and the study of astronomy. On evenings when the skies are clear, UCLA allows visitors to take a look at the sky through one of the astronomy department’s telescopes.
Star Is Swallowed by a Black Hole and Emits Detectible Plasma Jets
Currently earning his PhD in clinical psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Jordan Perzik has a passion for astronomy. With an interest in cosmos-related discoveries and events, Jordan Perzik has completed more than 100 hours of observation at the Mount Wilson Observatory.
In late November 2015, the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth, Australia, reported the discovery of a supermassive black hole in the process of engulfing a star in a not-too-distant galaxy. With only 20 such events ever witnessed by astronomers, scientists were particularly interested to observe the faint jets of plasma that were dispersed from the black hole as the star was swallowed and torn apart.
The jets emitted energy during this event comparable to the sun’s total energy output over 10 million years. What is remarkable about the event was its relative closeness, at 300 million light years, which allowed the usually unseen jets to be detected and studied.
About the National Resources Defense Council
Jordan Perzik is involved with numerous agencies throughout California that seek to protect wildlife and promote land preservation. On the national level, Jordan Perzik works with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to support legislation that affects how natural resources are used throughout the United States.
The NRDC was founded in 1970 and now has 2 million members. The organization draws on the policy expertise of more than 500 professionals, including lawyers and scientists. The NRDC focuses on a broad set of environmental issues, including mitigating risks from global warming, protecting the earth's oceans, preserving wildlife, and guarding the world's water supply. Pollution, energy, and agriculture are other areas of concern addressed by the council.
Teaching the public is an important part of the NRDC's strategy for raising awareness about environmental problems. The NRDC regularly publishes articles that detail the latest research into the issues that currently affect the environment. At any given time, the NRDC has information on its website about particular issues that need urgent attention as well as instructions for how people can help.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust
In addition to his work in the field of psychology, Jordan Perzik is heavily involved in environmental research and development. Jordan Perzik is a member of California's Mojave Desert Land Trust, an organization that works to protect and preserve the Mojave Desert.
The goals of the Mojave Desert Land Trust are centered on environmental protection, education, collaboration, and funding. The trust highlights the fact that the Mojave Desert is home to a fragile and unique ecosystem and encourages residents, visitors, and the state government to conserve local resources. The Mojave Desert Land Trust achieves its preservation goals through a variety of programs and campaigns aimed at the government as well as California residents. To engage the public, the trust has educational materials that describe the unique animals and plants that inhabit the Mojave Desert and current environmental practices that impact desert life.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust also urges people to become directly involved with its preservation efforts. Becoming a member of the trust, making a donation, volunteering, or buying merchandise are a few of the ways that people can support the trust's goals.
Scientists Document Black Hole Emissions
Jordan Perzik, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California, also studies astronomy. A regular stargazer at local observatories and an attendee of astronomy society lectures, Jordan Perzik has made his own observations through the Carnegie Institute's Hale telescope.
Scientists have long understood that black holes consume gas and stars. Recently, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) found that these same black holes can also expel some of that gas outward. In January of 2016, scientists at NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory documented two massive arcs of gas near the center of galaxy NGC 5195, currently merging with spiral galaxy NGC 5194.
Researchers believe that the observed arcs are the result of the black hole's expulsion of large quantities of material. Additional observation suggests that these arcs have also created a snowplow effect, in which the emitted gas collects cooler hydrogen gas from the galaxy's center. This phenomenon may be a preventive measure to mitigate the size of developing galaxies, although the quantity of material present in the NGC 5195 cloud may be large enough now to prompt the formation of new stars.
Wasting Resources with Light Pollution and How Communities Are Reacting
Having recently completed a two year clinical practicum at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Jordan Perzik works toward achieving a PhD in clinical psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Jordan Perzik also enjoys learning about environmental matters, such as light pollution.
Light pollution comes from a variety of sources, including electronic billboards, unshielded and neon lights, and projectors. Among issues derived from light pollution is wasted energy and resources. In the United States, one-third of lighting is squandered, which equates to approximately $2 billion, according to the International Dark-Sky Association. The cost consists of wasted coal and oil resources. Specifically, inefficient use of oil reserves is estimated at 30 million barrels annually. The amount creates 14.1 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), a substance that negatively impacts global warming.
Fortunately, many town and city officials have taken measures to reduce light pollution in their communities. In Ridgefield, Connecticut, regulations limiting the use of lights in school lots and the city’s Parks and Recreation Center have been enforced. Savings of up to $19,000 per year is expected following the first year. Outside the United States, countries in the European Union are eliminating use of incandescent light bulbs. The change is anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 million tons per year.
Carnegie Observatories' Role in Educating the Public about Astronomy
Clinical psychology PhD candidate Jordan Perzik holds a lifelong interest in astronomy. Through the years, Jordan Perzik has maintained a relationship with Carnegie Institute for Science's Mount Wilson Observatory, a California-based observatory that is actively involved in the education of the general populace to bolster interest for astronomy.
The Carnegie Observatories are actively sustaining a public outreach program that uses different approaches to help the public know more about astronomy. Some activities focus on providing educational support and resources for elementary students in underserved communities. Observatory staff astronomers conduct school visits, with a particular focus on fifth-grade students within the Pasadena locality.
The Carnegie Observatories are also responsible for strengthening astronomy at the college level by providing advisory on current curricula.
Additionally, the institution hosts an annual free public series lecture. Initiated in 2003, the lecture series seeks to provide residents of Southern California with the most recent astronomical updates directly from practicing astronomers.
IDA Grants Dark Sky Status to Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
An avid astronomer, Jordan Perzik has studied topics ranging from galaxies to the Orion molecular cloud complex through his involvement with the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Griffith Observatory, and the Mount Wilson Observatory. In addition, Jordan Perzik actively advocates for preserving the night sky as a member of the International Dark-Sky Association.
For more than 25 years, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has operated as a nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to protecting the night sky. The organization leads initiatives to promote ecologically friendly lighting fixtures, for example, to encourage city planners and legislators to consider as more efficient options when developing new land.
IDA also formally recognizes communities that have achieved high standards of light conservation, and it most recently designated Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Okeechobee, Florida, to the family of Dark Sky areas. The park is the first in the state to earn this status and the first in the country to feature a fully equipped astronomy pad to facilitate and enhance observation.
George Ellery Hale's 60-Inch Telescope
Jordan Perzik has worked as a research psychometrician for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Also an amateur astronomer, Jordan Perzik has logged more than 100 hours on the 60-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles.
The 60-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory is the largest telescope in the world that is exclusively open for public viewing. Once called “the granddaddy of them all,” this 100-year-old telescope is one of the most productive in all of history.
George Ellery Hale began work on the world’s first 60-inch telescope in 1894. The massive plate glass, which is seven-and-a-half inches thick, and weighs in at 1,900 pounds, was a gift from his father. After securing funding, opticians were brought in to grind the lens into shape. It took nearly two years of constant work, as the mirror’s surface needed to be perfect within a few millionths of an inch.
Despite careful precautions, the surface of the lens was scratched badly after a year and a half of work. The opticians had to begin again, grinding the lens back into the perfect shape.
The telescope faced several more setbacks while being built. It was in San Francisco during the great earthquake of 1906, and it just barely survived. Labor slowdowns delayed progress further. Despite these obstacles, the telescope became operational in 1908.
Ways to Reduce Light Pollution
Jordan Perzik, a PhD student who completed a clinical practicum at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, possesses a keen interest in night sky preservation. An International Dark-Sky Association member, Jordan Perzik supports initiatives that reduce light pollution.
Light pollution causes an array of problems including disrupting sleep patterns and ecological processes. However, light pollution can be deterred by restricting halogen lights. Also known as “Rottweiler lights,” halogen lights use 500 watts to illuminate gardens, driveways, and homes. The lights are typically installed as a security measure. However, a representative from the Institution of Lighting Engineers recommends 100-watt lighting instead. The lower wattage provides increased security by lessening dark shadows and reduces a person’s emission of light pollution. To further limit halogen usage, advocates can work in partnership with lighting suppliers and retailers to promote light pollution education that assists consumers in making more informed choices when purchasing outdoor lighting.
Another approach involves utilization of intelligent lighting systems. These systems, controlled by texting, e-mail, and sensors, have been used by businesses and homeowners in the past. With updated technology, the solution is now more affordable and can be integrated on a larger scale. For example, stadium operators can control lighting based on circumstances. When a match ends, operators can force the lights to turn on for safe passage by attendees as they leave the stadium. Afterwards, the vacant stadium’s lights can be dimmed. In terms of personal use, the technology gives an individual the ability to turn off nearby street lamps.
Jordan Perzik Assists with the National Resource Defense Council
Jordan Perzik believes we should maintain responsible stewardship of our planet. For this reason, Jordan Perzik works with the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) in its efforts to promote environmental legislation that protects natural resources.
The NRDC works with 500 professionals, many of them lawyers, as it campaigns to preserve water and air quality, and to make communities healthier for people all over the country. Their legal team consists of attorneys and paralegals located in many major cities, including Chicago, New York City, and Washington, DC. They also have the support of over two million activist members.
The organization has been in place since 1970, and in the last four decades they have achieved a great deal of success, including the passing of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The NRDC has a high level of transparency and puts most of its resources from charitable donations where it matters the most – the programs and services it provides for the benefit of the environment.
A Recent MDLT Acquisition of Whipple Mountains Wilderness Land
A Pacifica Graduate Institute student with a background in counseling, Jordan Perzik is pursuing PhD studies in clinical psychology. Jordan Perzik is a strong supporter of environmental efforts throughout Southern California and moves with the Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT). The nonprofit organization facilitates major land acquisitions that help preserve the Mojave Desert’s cultural and ecosystem resources.
MDLT’s most recent land purchase centered on 100 acres of land within the 76,000 Whipple Mountains Wilderness, which was still in private hands. This mountainous area of the desert is one of the most strikingly scenic of the Mohave, as it rises dramatically from the Colorado River.
The predominant vegetation is Sonoran thorn forest and creosote bush scrub, with plant types ranging from diverse cacti to ironwood and palo verde. Abundant wildlife calls this area home, including mule deer, coyote, and bighorn sheep. Wild burros are also common, as are jackrabbits and roadrunners. Many types of raptors nest and forage in the Whipple Mountains, from red-tailed hawks to golden eagles.
The land acquisition was characterized as reflecting a shared commitment between the MDLT and the Bureau of Land Management in ensuring the integrity of critical habitats in the California Desert.
Radioactivity Fuels the Power and Duration of Supernova Explosions
Based in Southern California, Jordan Perzik has a professional background in community counseling and is pursuing doctoral studies in clinical psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. Jordan Perzik also has a longstanding fever for astronomy and has frequently observed the nighttime skies at Mount Wilson Observatory.
As reported in Astronomy Now, researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics recently discovered links between radioactivity and the power of supernova explosions. This discovery came about through observation of a faint afterglow associated with supernova SN 2012cg, which turned out to be emitting radioactive cobalt-57.
The explosion seems to have come about from the star drawing matter from a partner orbiting star, which increased its mass to a point where the carbon core ignited. This, in turn, caused a radioactive reaction and explosion that lasted for approximately three times as long as might be expected without the radioactive fuel.
The presence of radioactivity in the supernova was detected by the Hubble Space Telescope and follows along the lines of ANU predictions made only seven years ago.
Issues in Astronomy - Light Pollution
Jordan Perzik studies clinical psychology as a doctoral student with the Pacifica Graduate Institute. Jordan Perzik also cultivates a life-long interest in astronomy as a member of several astronomical organizations, including Griffith Observatory and the Los Angeles Astronomical Society.
When the ancestors of modern humans gazed up at the night sky, they saw extremely vivid images of the stars and parts of the Milky Way Galaxy. Light pollution endangers this vivid impression by rendering many stars invisible to present-day observers.
A modern problem associated with the rise of electric lights over the past century, light pollution originates from several key sources. One source, called urban sky glow, happens when aggregate light from inhabited regions obscures the stars. In fact, urban light often “trespasses,” meaning the light shines in unintended places, or constitutes “clutter,” meaning the light is over-bright or otherwise excessive.
People can take simple steps to reduce light pollution in their local area. For example, closing window blinds at night keeps light from escaping rooms, thus mitigating light trespass.
Four Elements of Light Pollution
As part of the International Dark Sky Association, psychology intern Jordan Perzik participates in advocacy efforts to reduce light pollution. Jordan Perzik and his fellow activists encourage the use of technologies that keep the night sky intact into the future.
Light pollution occurs when artificial nighttime lighting emanates into the night sky and interferes with natural darkness. Among other negative results, poorly contained and incorrectly focused light streams away from where it is needed and interrupts the natural rhythms of darkness and light that help to regulate ecosystems.
Dark sky advocates and scientists have divided this pollutive light into four basic components. Perhaps the most foundational is clutter, which scientists define as excessively bright and illogical groupings of light sources. Clutter can confuse the eye and make navigation difficult, while also contributing to glare.
Glare occurs when light shines directly into the eye. It resembles a more direct form of light trespass, in which illumination spreads out of its intended realm and into another person's visual space. This might not only disturb the person's peace but may cause personal property to be more visible to burglars.
The most pervasive and widely affecting form of light pollution, however, is sky glow. This cloud of light over cities can not only brighten the sky but block the Milky Way from view. Leisure astronomers must travel farther for a good view, while humans and animals alike find their circadian rhythms inhibited and their natural cycles out of sync.
Light Pollution’s Potential Effects on the Human Experience
An aspiring professional in the field of psychology, Jordan Perzik resides in the Los Angeles area. Also an astronomy enthusiast, Jordan Perzik harbors concern about light pollution.
A February 2017 article in the publication Timeline discusses the reality of light pollution in Los Angeles and other major urban centers. The article begins with an anecdote about the 1994 Northbridge earthquake and subsequent blackout in the city. With the major power outage came a view of the night sky that many residents had never witnessed. Uneasy about what was described a “giant silvery cloud” over the city, multiple residents called 911. The “cloud” was the Milky Way.
In 2001, a report published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society estimated that 66 percent of the US population had lost the ability to look up at the sky and see the Milky Way due to light pollution. The Timeline article points out a number of detrimental effects of light pollution, including disruption of sea turtle breeding instincts and human circadian rhythms. Light pollution also impedes the work of astronomers.
However, the Timeline article laments the fact that light pollution affects humans on a philosophical level as well, noting that as city dwellers lose their ability to see the stars, losing long-held spiritual connections that date back to cultures such as the Mayans and the druids who built Stonehenge. They also lose a fundamental part of the human experience--the sense of how truly small they are amidst an infinite cosmos.