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Apr 21, 2014

Soundscape Ecologist Aims To Record A Global Soundscape For Earth Day

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Earth Day is annually celebrated on April 22. Events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection, causes, and awareness.

For his part, Bryan Pijanowski, a soundscape ecologist at Purdue University, wants to capture the sounds of the world on Earth Day, but he needs your help.

Pijanowski is hoping to enlist thousands of people in a Global Soundscape project to record a few minutes of their everyday surroundings with his Soundscape Recorder smartphone app, so scientists can use these uploaded sound snippets to measure patterns and changes in our sonic environments.

Wired quotes Pikanwoski:

“I’ve been on a campaign to record as many ecosystems as possible. But there’s only so many places in the world I can be. I thought about how I could get more recordings into a database, and it occurred to me: We have a couple billion people on this planet with smartphones!”

The study of soundscapes is the subject of acoustic ecology. A soundscape is a sound or combination of sounds that arises from an immersive environment.

Soundscapes refers to both the natural acoustic environment, consisting of natural sounds, such as animal vocalizations, the sounds of weather; and environmental sounds created by humans, through musical composition and other ordinary activities including conversation and work.

For the Global Soundscape Earth Day project, after participants attain their recording with the app, they’ll be asked a short series of questions about what they heard and how they feel. The recording will then uploaded to the Global Soundscape database for analysis.


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