Mark grew up in central Massachusetts, where on clear nights his father would take him out in the back yard to look at the millions of stars. He learned the constellations and with a small telescope, saw craters and mountains on the Moon, the rings of Saturn, moons around Jupiter, eclipses, meteors, and one of the first man made satellites. So inspired, he went away to college to study Space Science only 35 miles from the launch pad for the Apollo moon landings. “When I return to the old neighborhood now it has the same wooded feel to it, but any kid growing up there now would never be inspired by the night sky. No one fought for the night sky there. The light pollution is so bad that besides the Moon, only a hand full of the brightest stars and planets are even barely visible. Of the millions of stars, all but a few are lost in the glow of ever expanding light pollution.”
“When I moved to Rhode Island in 1986, I fell in love with Charlestown. What makes it my favorite spot is the incredibly dark night skies. It is a wonderful rural community with beautiful beaches and lush woodlands but it is also the heart of one of the best dark skies on the east coast. I try to look at the sky every night and I wonder how long before light pollution will block the view here. I walk the wooded trails and I wonder when and where the next bulldozer will start toppling trees. We are lucky to have such a community and we need to publicize, enforce and enhance protection for our unique night sky, our rural life style, and our natural environment.”
Mark C. Alexander – Planning Commission
Mark has lived in Charlestown since 1995 and loves it here. “We have a warm and friendly rural community with wonderful natural beauty. We have an excellent school system and low property taxes. I believe that as Charlestown residents we need to be good stewards and with wisdom and prudence, preserve the beauty and character of our town.”
Mark has lived in Massachusetts, Arizona, and Florida, and experienced first hand how an increasing population can bring pollution, invasive plant and animal species, and expanding resource usage. The result has been expensive and persistent battles against non-native species, loss of habitat for endangered native species and high water usage and coastal salt water intrusion into well water.
An engineer by training, he is a problem solver. “If I see a problem, I analyze, then look for a solution that can actually be applied and expected to work under the prevailing circumstances. Then try to make sure that this problem and others like it don’t come back.”
The Planning Commission will benefit from Mark’s analytical thinking, his experience in communities that have failed to do enough to protect natural resources, and his sincere love of the beauty of Charlestown.
- BS in Space Sciences from Florida Institute of Technology
- Retired Semiconductor Engineer with 38 years experience manufacturing devices from the first generation of digital watches to hearing aids and automobile airbag sensors to cameras for astronomical telescopes.
- Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a volunteer coach for youth football, baseball and basketball and has spent time volunteering and substitute teaching at Charlestown Elementary and Chariho Middle and High Schools.
- Mark enjoys biking, woodland hikes, days at the beach and nights stargazing with his wife Liza and their 14 year old son Christopher.