Acoustic Ecology
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Introductions to Acoustic Ecology

Acoustic Ecology is a term coined in the early 1970s, emerging largely from the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. The writings of R. Murray Schafer, most notably A Sound Education and The Tuning of the World (reissued as The Soundscape), have provided a foundation from which several distinct yet related threads have grown.

Prominent themes in acoustic ecology today are:

  • The effect of soundscapes on humans, in cities, nature, and buildings, including urban planning and architectural design that takes sound into account.
  • Ways to become more aware of the sounds we are making, so we can make these choices more consciously.
  • Reflection on the soundscapes we encounter day to day.
  • The effects of human sounds on wildlife.
  • The “right to quiet,” which comes into play in wild lands recreation debates about motorized use, as well as in urban settings.
  • The idea of acoustic windows or acoustic niches, employed by various species in a given habitat to avoid masking each other’s vocalizations.

Short introductions from - Three short overviews to get you oriented: Acoustic ecology in the classroom and the field, simple exercises in Acoustic ecology, and using soundscape recordings in the classroom. [GO THERE]

An introduction to acoustic ecology - a journal article by Kendell Wrightson which provides an in-depth introducton to the history and scope of the field of acoustic ecology as developed since its origins in the 1970's. [WEB SITE]

Sons de Mar - Overview of ocean bioacoustics and anthropogenic noise sources, presented in an educational format. A nice graphic "Presentation" allows students to click and hear a variety of whales and human noise sources. From the Applied Bioacoustics Laboratory. [GO THERE]

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