During last week's Soundscapes camp conducted by a graduate student from Purdue university, 14 Secondary program students learned about the science of soundscape ecology. They first mastered the physics of how sound is produced by humans, as well as animals; for example, clicking like a dolphin, or rubbing their arms together to produce sounds like a cricket. Then they explored the different categories of sound that ecologists have identified: anthrophony, biophony, and geophony. By the last day of the camp students were making recordings and accurately identifying the sounds, and analyzing the data they collected.
A variety of hands-on activities helped helped students understand these concepts and grasp the impact of man-made sounds (known as anthrophony), such as car engines roaring, air conditioners humming -- have on the biophony (the sounds made by living things) birds singing, insects buzzing! Exploring the campus with tape recorders in hand, students also heard geophony... the sounds made by the non living parts of nature, such as the wind blowing and the water running in the pond! While listening to recordings that were made by scientists doing field research students heard the remarkable difference in an ecosystem before and after a road was constructed through the area. What happened to the sounds of the birds?
If you would like to be a part of this exciting new science as a soundscaper, you can download the app for your phone: RecordtheEarth or visit the website http://centerforglobalsoundscapes.org/