Soundscape Ecology Research Projects
Our most recent research thrust in the HEMA lab has been the exploration of sound dynamics in landscapes. We refer to this area of discovery as “soundscape ecology”. We are interested in characterizing the patterns of sounds that occur across different spatial extents and time periods. The connection to land use is obvious, we are interested in the types of sounds that occur in various major land use types and how planning and management might impact the quality and quantity of natural sounds in these environments.
Key Papers, Databases, and Tools
BioScience paper - This section contains the sound files of the Pijanowski et al. (2011) BioScience article titled "Soundscape Ecology: The Science of Sound in the Landscape."
Original BioScience paper posted at the AIBS web site.
Soundscape Data Sites
Tippecanoe Soundscape - This site contains an interface to over 32,000 15-min recordings made in 2008 at 7 sites in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Each 15-min recording was analyzed for the amount of acoustic diversity and as well as the composition of acoustic frequencies. Recordings started at the top of every hour. The recordings were stored originally as wav files in 44.1 kHz, 16 bit format. Files were compressed to FLAC for long term storage and to MP3 for listening over the web.
La Selva Soundscape - This site contains over 9,000 recordings made in 2008 at 24 sites in the La Selva Field Station and the Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica. The sites covered a range of elevations, from 100 meters to about 600 meters above sea level.
Wild Sanctuary - Home to the largest private archive of natural sound. A worldwide collection of over 3,500 hours of wild soundscapes and nearly 15,000 species. Their mission is to help connect people to the wild by preserving, presenting, and protecting the voice of the natural world.
Wisconsin Soundscape - Soundscape Recordings at the Aldo Leopold Foundation Reserve in Baraboo, WI.
Pumilio is a free and open source PHP/MySQL application for the management of sound archives and the visualization and manipulation of sound files.
Users can plot a day (or longer) of the acoustic diversity index of the Tippecanoe Soundscape.
Scripts in R language are available to obtain the acoustic diversity index out of wav sound files.
New York Times Magazine - "Whisper of the Wild" (3/15/2012)
NPR Weekend Edition Sunday - "Scientists tune in to the 'Voices of the Landscape" (3/13/2011)
The Exponent - "Student studies dynamics" (3/11/2011)
Inside Science - "Recording the Soundscapes of Spring" (3/10/2011)
Michigan State University News - "New scientific field to study ecological importance of sounds" (3/8/11)
Journal & Courier - "New Field sounds out 'rhythms of nature'" (3/6/2011)
NPR Science Friday - "Nuevo Campo Biológico: La Ecología De Paisajes Sonoros" (3/4/2011) (in Spanish with annotated slide show!)
SmartPlanet at CBS News - "What the science of sound tells us about the world" (3/3/2011)
Purdue press release - "New scientific field will study ecological importance of sounds" (3/1/2011)
Last updated May 29, 2013