Purdue research center plans second Record the Earth event as part of Earth Day activities

April 21, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University research center is planning its second annual Record the Earth activity for Earth Day on Wednesday (April 22) to capture natural sound recordings and upload them for preservation.

People from across the globe are encouraged to upload their sound recordings to the website at https://recordtheearth.org/explore.php  as part of the Purdue project to preserve the natural soundscape files collected in a single, 24-hour period.

"The sounds captured through Record the Earth will be stored at a Purdue database and geo-referenced so people can then listen to everyone's soundscape over the Web," said soundscape ecologist Bryan Pijanowski, director of Discovery Park's Center for Global Soundscapes.

"People are also asked how they feel about the soundscape that they just recorded. For example, does it make them happy? People that participate in this endeavor assist scientists through this citizen scientist effort but also are involved in the research as they contribute valuable information about how they relate to their soundscapes."

A primary goal of Record the Earth: to help alert scientists to changes in species or habitats, and contribute to ongoing research and preservation efforts, he said.

During last year's Record the Earth effort, several thousand sound files from areas as diverse as South Africa and China to Estonia and Thailand were uploaded. To date, more than 3,900 soundscape recordings have been uploaded from 112 countries through mobile device applications.

To download the Record the Earth app, visit the Apple iTunes store at https://www.apple.com/itunes or Google Play at https://play.google.com/store.

"Our aim is to get people from all walks of life and from across the world to record their soundscapes and to answer questions related to how their soundscapes affect them," said Pijanowski, a Purdue professor of forestry and natural resources.

Record the Earth coincides with the first Purdue Earth Day Soundscape Festival, a free daylong event, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday (April 22) in the lobby of Discovery Park's Mann Hall. The festival, which is open to the campus community and the general public, will celebrate the Earth's rich biodiversity through sounds from all over the world. Using a combination of science and art, the festival will explore Earth's sounds and the emotions that they evoke in the listener.

In 2014 Pijanowski launched the Center for Global Soundscapes with a mission to preserve the Earth's sounds and highlight their role in alerting scientists to environmental habitat changes. The research center also promotes how natural soundscapes foster a sense of place and an emotional bond between humans and nature.

Some key center projects include the development of science-related K-12 education curriculum materials, a digital IMAX show, an iListen learning website, developing a soundscapes ecology vocabulary, and expanding upon the soundscape collection archived by Pijanowski and his research team. Partners at Purdue include VACCINE, CERIS, Envision Center, Center for the Environment and the Purdue Climate Change Research Center.

Pijanowski has a library of 1 million natural recordings from sites in Indiana, Costa Rica (La Selva Biological Station), Sonoran Desert (Arizona), Borneo (University of Brunei Darussalam Research Station), Alaska (Denali National Park), Maine (from the Wells National Estuarine Reserve) and elsewhere.

Visit www.centerforglobalsoundscapes.org to hear the recorded natural sounds. 

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Bryan Pijanowski, 765-496-2215, bpijanow@purdue.edu

Kristen Bellisario, kbellisa@purdue.edu

Holly Mutascio, hmutasci@purdue.edu 

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