Projects


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While bioacousticians have been studying human and animal sound perception for decades, and in some cases hundreds of years, it has only been recently that study become much more urgent − as the advance of human noise has interfered with marine life. For example: While it is incredibly informative (and useful) to know how dolphins use bio-sonar, understanding their vulnerability to sound is critical now that humans (informed by dolphin biosonar) are now cluttering the dolphin’s communication channels with our own sonars.

The same could be conferred to other perceptual and processing systems: signal masking, amplitude induced threshold shifts, pitch discrimination, time-domain resolution, voluntary-to-autonomic nervous system stimulus thresholds, and synergistic impacts – are all becoming more than just academic discussions as marine acoustic channels are being colonized by the noise of human enterprise.

We are focusing on an array of projects that endeavor to advance our understanding about how animals perceive and use sound, and use that understanding to inform the public, policymakers, and stakeholders so that we may all become better stewards of the sea.

Don’t be a Buckethead


Don’tBeABuckethead.org is a joint education and outreach project with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) focusing on the acoustical impacts of fossil fuel exploration and production in the arctic. Learn More»

Metrics


In order to have a clear understanding of any inquiry there needs to be a concise set of standard descriptors used. “Metrics” refers to the numerical/quantitative terms used to describe physical phenomena.

Ocean Noise Spectrum - marine mammal spectra overlay

Noise Criteria

In human architectural settings we have devised a way of describing the desired acoustical criteria for the purpose of a given room, providing design and use guidelines. These guidelines are crafted around the perceptual priorities of one species – humans. Ocean Noise Criteria need to include the perceptual priorities of many species – a complicated task. Learn More»

Thresholds

The first task of crafting criteria is to understand perceptual thresholds; what amplitude, or frequency, or acceleration, or time disparity will stimulate a nervous system response in animals. Learn More»

Kurtosis

Most threshold testing is done using convenient, easy to quantify signals. But signals found in actual settings are rarely so easy to describe. Kurtosis is a statistical descriptor for signal variability which can simplify the description of complex signals. Learn More»

Historic Ocean Noise Levels


There has been an assumption that the ocean has always been quiet until the mechanization of human enterprise. But prior to industrialized fishing and whaling the ocean was saturated with biological noise that may have been much louder that todays mechanized ocean. Learn More»

Sea-floor Processing


New technologies in offshore petroleum extraction are moving processing equipment down to the seafloor. This is introducing new and yet to be quantified noise sources where they are unseen – and unmonitored by any regulatory frameworks. Learn More»

Zuvuya


Zuvuya is the Mayan word for the circuit by which everything returns to its source, connecting memory to the future as well as the past.

The mission of ZUVUYA is to offer a sensory, multi-media experience that blends science and art, to focus each of us on reconnecting to our ocean home and to inspire stewardship and healing for the oceans and ourselves. Learn More»

Ocean Sounds


The ocean acoustic environment is complex and detailed, and because sound transmits so much better in water than in air, the range of biological adaptations are likely much more vast than what we find in terrestrial environments.

Sound Library

The sounds of animals, geo-physical events, and human enterprises orchestrate vast soundscapes throughout the sea.Learn More»

Acoustic Journeys


While listening to a single sound or a single bio-acoustic habitat can be thrilling, expanding the listening field into a context can be truly informative. We are developing two short narrative compositions in the form of Acoustic Journeys which will transport listeners across imaginary space and time, allowing them to understand some of the acoustic interactions of the sea.

Humpback

Ocean Soundscapes

An acoustical narrative journey from the Antarctic to the Arctic traversing stunning bioacoustic habitats, mechanized industrial soundfields, grinding ice fields, and screaming military operations. Learn More»

Sound Booth Concept Design

Arctic Soundscapes

Arctic Soundscapes is an interactive outdoor kiosk exploration of the amazing sounds in the Arctic, from the cosmic sounding vocalizations of beluga whales, ring and bearded seals, and bowhead whales, to the eerie and wincing noises if shifting sheet ice, and the incessant explosions of seismic airgun surveys prospecting for fossil fuels. Learn More»

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