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Western Soundscape Project Tops 1000 Recordings

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The University of Utah’s free digital archive of recordings from wild habitats in the American West has grown to over a thousand items. “Our premise is that the sounds of the west are unique and that they deserve a closer listen,” says research librarian Jeff Rice. “As our lives become more urbanized, we are losing our connection to the natural world and its rich sounds. There are whole generations of kids growing up that have never heard coyotes, or even frogs, in the wild. This is our heritage and we want to help restore some of that connection.” By focusing on the sounds of the western U.S., the archive emphasizes the connection between sound and place—something that is not only culturally valuable, but also biologically crucial, say scientists. Scientists recognize that even the same species of animals can sound different based on their geography. Birds, especially, can sing in dialects unique to their areas“Frequent recordings in many areas help create a database that will give insight into how the ‘singing culture’ of birds changes over time and space,” says Dr. Franz Goller, a biologist at the University of Utah. “Efforts like the Western Soundscape Archive are therefore very important in documenting acoustic behavior.” Source: Innovations Report, 3/18/09 [READ ARTICLE]
Western Soundscape Project Website: [MAIN SITE] [VIDEO INTRODUCTION]

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