If you can find the elusive Gunnison sage grouse while hiking through isolated pockets of remote southeastern Utah, you might be able to hear one.
But now, thanks to nature recording specialists (http://westernsoundscape.org/video.html) and a grant from a prestigious library institute, you can listen to its distinctive gurgling calls at your desk with a click of a computer mouse.
The sounds of the grouse in the wild is now one of 1,000 calls of different bird species, coyotes, frogs and other creatures to be catalogued and made available through the Western Soundscape Archive, a free, comprehensive, online archive dedicated entirely to the natural sounds of the western United States. The archive is part of the collection of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.
The recordings currently available at http://westernsoundscape.org range from rare birds to the endangered Wyoming toad. From your desktop, you can travel to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to hear the calls of an arctic fox, or follow a biologist into an abandoned mine to record bats. The unique natural environments of the west are available through sounds and stories.
Through freely available streaming audio files and downloadable podcasts, scientists, scholars, educators, students and nature enthusiasts will be able to identify animals and hear ambient recordings of natural environments throughout the eleven contiguous western United States and parts of Alaska.
“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.”
So why does a library take the time and energy to build such archives?
“We build archives like Western Soundscape because the content is valuable to scholars, but we can also make it broadly accessible,” explains Joyce Ogburn, University librarian and director of the J. Willard Marriott Library, “With digital technology, we are taking advantage of incredible opportunities to share new kinds of research expansively, both within the scholarly community and outside higher education.”
The project is made possible by a prestigious National Leadership Grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services that was awarded to the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. Ongoing partners include the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, as well as some of the nation’s finest nature recordists. Among the project’s contributors are internationally known bioacoustician Dr. Bernie Krause and Dr. Kevin J. Colver, co-author of the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs: Western Region. Other collaborators also include OCLC, the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Mountain West Digital Library.
To view a full video on the Western Soundscape Archive, visit: http://westernsoundscape.org/videoFull.html.
For more information on Western Soundscape Archive news and events, visit http://184.108.40.206/westernsoundscape.org/news.php
Valoree Dowell | Newswise Science News
How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences