My musings on 20 January, 2017

Here are my recent musings on Nature’s Web of Life.

This series of blog posts contains sources for my musings, my research, and my preparation for my student seminars. I am happy to share these with you.  If you find any of the articles interesting, I hope that you will offer your comments at the end of the list.

This collection of musings focuses on sounds in Nature and soundscape ecology.  Soundscape ecology is an important growing field of research and conservation practice that uses sound to track how ecosystems change over time. Just like we humans have a need to communicate with each other, animal and bird sounds are the communicating systems by which connectivity between creatures is achieved in Nature. These communications are vital to mating, territory establishment and protection, capturing food, individual and group defense, play, and social contact. Human noise can break these important connections and adversely affect Nature’s ecosystems.

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Here are three blog posts that I have written on the subject of Nature’s soundscapes and the damage that can be caused by humans with their noise:

Nature’s Symphony 

The Conservation of Quiet 

RV Generator Noise Breaks Connections In Nature 

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What is soundscape ecology?

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The Voice Of The Natural World. Bernie Kraus is a well known early pioneer in the field of Nature,s sounds and soundscape ecology. By his own count, Bernie has recorded the sounds of more than 15,000 animal species and recorded more than 4,500 hours of their natural ambience. Here is a TED talk by Bernie

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Here is a informative article about Bernie Krause and the science of soundscape ecology.

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Bernie Kraus’s web site

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Another well know soundscape ecologist is Gordon Hempton. He says: 

“Good things come from a quiet place: study, prayer, music, transformation, worship, communion. The words ‘peace’ and ‘quiet’ are all but synonymous, and are often spoken in the same breath. A quiet place is the think tank of the soul, the spawning ground of truth and beauty.

A quiet place outdoors has no physical borders or limits to perception. One can commonly hear for miles and listen even farther. A quiet place affords a sanctuary for the soul, where the difference between right and wrong becomes more readily apparent. It is a place to feel the love that connects all things, large and small, human and not; a place where presence of a tree can be heard. A quiet place is a place to open up all your senses and come alive.”

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The US National Park Service has a soundscape inventory and monitoring program at Denali National Park in Alaska.  The sound-level data are used to compare the levels of human-made sounds to the natural ambient levels.

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An article by the US National Park Service on human sounds at national parks.

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Noise vs. Nature: How We’re Upsetting America’s Soundscapes

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Acoustic ecology and ethical listening.

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From Scripps Institute of Oceanography – Behavioral Acoustic Ecology Lab 

“A broad range of invertebrates and vertebrates use sound for communication and sensing of their environment. Each ecosystem contains a unique symphony of sounds, a soundscape, that informs us about its species composition, possibly abundance, and together with information about the physical environment leads to the characterization of the ecology and behavior of the species producing and interpreting sound. Acoustics can be used to investigate how the individual’s behavior may be shaping the ecology of the community or how individuals and populations may be reacting to a changing environment.”

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My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.

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