A musician named R. Murray Schafer developed the concept of acoustic ecology. He proposed that we should attempt to hear the natural acoustics around us as a composition of music. It is a major concern that our acoustic ecology is deteriorating. Human created sounds are drowning out the sounds of nature and are affecting wildlife both on land and in the ocean. Whales are being displaced by the sounds of oil drilling, ship traffic is affecting fish, and off-road vehicles are changing the natural habits of many wildlife animals.
Acoustic Ecology Organizations
- New York Society for Acoustic Ecology – This is an organization for people who want to promote dialog about the sound environment in an urban area.
- Canadian Association for Sound Ecology – An association for Canadians who are interested in helping to care for the quality of the state of the acoustic environment.
- Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology – The Midwestern chapter of people dedicated to understanding the practices of listening.
- Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology – An organization for people in Australia who are interested in the study of sound.
- Noise Free America – A website with information on helping to reduce noise pollution.
- The Right to Quiet Society – A group dedicated to bringing awareness to the problem of unhealthy and undesirable sounds.
- Bay Area Sound Ecology – A group in the San Francisco Bay area created to promote sound and environment awareness.
- Nature Sounds – This is an organization dedicated to the preservation of natural sounds.
- The American Society for Acoustic Ecology – An organization that looks at sound in nature and in human societies. This organization also works to promote public awareness for the restoration of natural sound environments.
Research Organizations for Acoustic Ecology
- World Listening Project – An organization that uses listening and field recording to understand natural environments around the world.
- Vents Program – This is a program that monitors ocean noise.
- Bioacoustics Research Program – Cornell University’s webpage with information on projects and studies on acoustics and the effects on animals.
- Applied Physics Laboratory – This research is based on acoustic oceanography.
- Ecological Acoustics Research – A study on the earth’s ecosystems and how they are influenced by human activity.
- Center for Marine Science and Technology – This organization conducts research on underwater acoustics as well as other marine issues.
- University of California – This group studies the sounds animals and birds make and how they communicate.
- Earth Ear – A website with information on audio productions that are recording of sounds in nature.
- Handbook for Acoustic Ecology – A resource for information on sound and acoustics.
- The Acoustic Ecology Project – Detailed information on acoustic ecology and how people listen in everyday situations.
- Bioacoustics – This has information on bioacoustics and acoustic ecology.
- Interview with an Acoustic Ecologist – This page is a question and answer session with acoustic ecologist Dr. John Levack Drever.
- Acoustic Environments in Change – This is an international project that is studying the changes of soundscapes in Europe.
- The World Soundscape Project – This group was established at Simon Fraser University as education and research resource.
- New Music Box – An article about sounds in nature as music, with information about Schafer’s idea of acoustic ecology.
Issues Associated with Acoustic Ecology
- Wildlands Issues – How the winter use of Yellowstone National Park is affecting the acoustic ecology.
- Science Daily – FEMA for kids teaches kids about volcanoes and how to prepare a disaster supply kit.
- Earth Island Journal – Information about how humans are interfering with the natural soundscape.
- Soundscape and Noise – The importance of soundscapes at national parks.
- Noise Pollution Clearinghouse – The effects of noise on breeding birds and other wildlife.
- Aquatic Bioacoustics – The effects of human noise on fish and other aquatic animals.
- Science Daily – An article about the endangered gray whale being displaced from their feeding grounds because of the acoustic noise used to detect oil and gas.