It has been a quite few weeks since we’ve put out a bioacoustics newsletter. Like most public benefit organizations we end up taking a lot of time in fundraising during the end of the year. (Thank-you to all of our supporters – the gratitude notes are going out this week!).
Out the gates 2013 is sizing up to be a pretty big year for us. Working with sound designer Jeremiah Moore and model maker Justin Botros we became finalists in the “Blue Trail Project.” The project brings artists and scientists together to create public works that promote ocean conservation. Our group will be creating an underwater soundscape on San Francisco Pier 7 called “Ocean Soundscapes: The Arctic” that will immerse visitors in the wild and mysterious Arctic acoustic habitat.
By the end of January you will be able to explore some of these wild sounds through a highly interactive website that OCR programming maven Gwynn Dandridge-Perry has been crafting. We are honored to have live sound recordings of the Arctic provided by Chris Clark through Cornell’s Macaulay Library. We’ve been listening to these eerie recordings for weeks as they’re being processed. Once they’re all up we’ll invite you in to play.
The first of the year is typically “Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) season” when the Navy and National Marine Fisheries Service, and other regulatory agencies release their EIS’s for public comments. We have a few coming up on our boards: The reauthorization of the Gulf of Alaska Warfare Training Range, the final ruling on the Atlantic and the Hawaii-Southern California Testing and Training Ranges, and the California Coastal Commission Consistency Determination on Navy operations along the California coast.
I’ll be doing a bit of traveling this year as well: A few trips to Washington DC for conferences and legislative outreach, and a trip to Budapest, Hungary for an international Aquatic Noise conference.
Not all of our work is education and policy: Pending funding we hope to be working with Mario Chavarria-Rivera and Hector Guzman on a program correlating chorusing fish aggregations to feeding aggregations of whale sharks and we have been encouraged about potential government funding for our “Kurtosis Exposure Metric” project.
I am optimistic about the state of science and our developing understanding about the impacts of noise on marine life, but we will need the products of this science to guide us through the deepening engagement between industry, commerce, the military, and the deep blue sea.