Arctic Soundscapes now on line!

After a pile of coding, and some deep generosity from World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Chris Clark’s lab at Cornell, and the Macaulay Library we are finally launching our Arctic Soundscapes feature on the “Don’t be a Buckethead” website.

We launched the main website last year to highlight the acoustical impacts of oil and gas development on the Arctic. Knowing that few of us have had, or will have the opportunity to explore this stunning part of our planet, we wanted folks to know that the region is much more than melting ice caps, Eskimos, and polar bears. What appears to be an austere and violent landscape is in fact full of life – particularly underwater, and especially in the spring when the bowhead whales and ice seals are all singing their songs of love.

Chris Clark provided us with a week of around-the-clock sounds recorded in April 2011. The “audiographs” feature allows you to explore these soundscapes, or just let them run in the background. You will hear all manner of whale songs, seal sweeps, mysterious knocking, occasional blurts or bangs, and some sounds that defy description.

Don't Be a Buckethead

The “Listening” page provides a number of sound/videos of audiographs, explaining what animals they represent. There are pictures of Arctic landscapes and other media you can explore as well.

There is a comment panel on the “Audiographs” page. Please let us know if you hear something particularly strange, or can identify any of the mysterious sounds found in these recordings!

Also please let us know if you have any problems with the pages. Gwynn has done a yeoman’s task of setting these complicated features into a seamless setting but we can’t be completely assured that they will be seamless in all software/hardware environments.