Arkstar and Beyond
Arkstar Astronomy is comprised of Donnie and Donna Houston, and their son Tyler (Arkstar’s web designer, artist, and editor). Raised in Arkansas, Donnie earned a Doctorate in pharmacy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, as well as a master’s in astronomy, and a BS in zoology from Arkansas State University. Donna was born and raised in Costa Rica but moved to Arkansas for college where she earned a BA in Spanish at Ouachita Baptist University. Having recently earned a BA in English, with concentration in creative writing, from the University of Arkansas, Tyler is currently working towards a master’s degree in English Literature (with focus on American Popular Genre and Literature). Arkstar is stationed in the heart of the Ozark mountains in the small community of Elkins, Arkansas. Astronomy has been a passion for Donnie since the mid 1970’s. Donnie’s first hands on telescope experience was in High School using a Celestron C8 Schmidt Cassegrain. After graduation, he purchased an Edmond Scientific Newtonian telescope and a small refractor. Since that time, he has never been without a telescope and the passion to use it.
Fast forwarding to present day, Arkstar’s mission is to propagate knowledge of the cosmos. Arkstar is committed to outreach programs, teaching others about visual astronomy, astrophotography, and products and services that are available to facilitate that process, as well as being dedicated to reviewing honestly and providing educational opportunities to those that desire them through local collaborations with the Boy Scouts of America and Explore Scientific.
Arkstar is also a local advocate of the fight against light pollution. Light pollution not only effects the ability for astronomers to enjoy the night sky, but the casual observer as well. In addition, scientific evidence suggests that artificial light at night has many negative and lethal effects on wildlife including birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, and plant life.