Feeling Lost Sounds
Reported December 2011
WABASH TOWNSHIP, IN. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- For many people, living in a noisy world is a way of life. Escaping sounds of traffic, construction, and crowds isn’t always easy. Hearing birds sing at dawn and crickets chirp at dusk is getting harder and harder to find. Now, we’ll tell you how scientists are tapping into nature’s sounds and what the sounds can tell us about our world.
The roar of traffic, and non-stop construction, we live in a noisy world of human made sounds. The loud noises we make can drown out natural sounds of the environment – like birds, frogs and other wildlife. Now, landscape ecologists are tuning in and listening to nature’s sounds in a way most of us don’t.
“I think what’s important is that natural sounds are an acoustic link to nature, and as we become more and more of an urban species, we sever that link,” Bryan Pijanowski, Ph.D., landscape ecologist at Purdue University told Ivanhoe.
Researchers at Purdue University are creating a new scientific field called soundscape ecology to focus on what sounds say about an area. Hearing sounds, or not hearing them can be an important indicator of environmental changes.
“What we want to do is try to understand how sounds can be a signal for threatened eco-systems,” Pijanowski said.
Scientists place microphones, on trees so that sounds can be continuously recorded from an area. The sounds are then analyzed to look for different sound patterns. The dawn and dusk choruses of wildlife can be typical of an area – if sound intensity or sound patterns change, there is likely something causing that change.
“If you’re out in the wetland and you don’t hear the frogs that means that there’s some threat to that particular organism that could be from climate change, or habitat destruction, or chemical contamination,” Dr. Pijanowski explained.
Researchers found more and more natural sounds are being replaced by constant man-made noise.
"We found that in areas that are urban and areas that are agricultural, we have very few biological sounds, they are dominated by low level sounds from engines and noise from vehicles,” Dr. Pijanowski concluded.
Capturing lost sounds may help us all get back to nature.
Due to urban sprawl, the animals most risk of extinction in the U.S are the Florida panther, some species of owls, the red leg frog and the pronghorn.
Click here to Go Inside This Science and View Video or contact:
Bryan Pijanowski, PhD
Professor Forestry & Natural Resources
Safe or Slippery? Detecting Dangerous Roads
December 2011 TV Reports
Slip-sliding on dangerous roads comes with the season. Now new laser technology is helping determine which roads are slick and which are safe.
Tracking Traffic—GPS Of The Future
It’s an app that can tell you what time to leave for work, how long it will take to get there and when the next bus will arrive. We’ll show you a personal traffic reporter that’s right at your fingertips.
Pets, People & Practice
Diabetes, Cancer, Leukemia … all very real diseases that not only kill millions of people, but our pets as well. New research is proving the same medicine that can save Fido from deadly diseases can save us too.
Dogs Fighting Cancer
Did you know you could get the same type of cancer as dogs? You can-- and that’s why doctors and veterinarians are working closely to cure this deadly disease in both.
Earthquake! What’s Your Risk?
Could your home withstand a 7.2 quake like the one last month that devastated parts of Turkey? A new computer program can calculate your risk and if insurance would be worth the cost.
Uncovering Mysteries In Space
Scientists have discovered the largest body of water and it’s out of this world—literally! We’ll show you where it is and tell you what it means for all of us.
Deep Space Discoveries
Technology is moving faster than the speed of light! We’ll show you the next telescope that is sure to make the Hubble look like a child’s toy!
A Satellite Named Violet and a Student Named Amanda
It’s been two years in the making but now, a one-of-a-kind student built satellite is ready for launch! But what makes Violet so unique?
Hola! Hello! Ciao! Bonjour! The More Languages the Better!
Juggling two, three even four languages may help build stronger brains.
Finding Lost Sounds
Listen up! Nature’s harmonies are more important than you might think. It’s what you don’t hear anymore that could tell us about what’s happening in our world.
Behind the Scenes with the K-Team
For the first time, we take you inside the Karp Lab. It’s like no other and what happens here could change or save your life.
Spice It Up for a Healthy Heart!
For your next meal, add a little turmeric, oregano or cinnamon. A few more spices could add years to your heart.