We are visual creatures. But underwater, visibility falls off dramatically so the kinds of visual observations that biologists use to study terrestrial ecosystems is not practical. Studying what is happening under the ocean requires a different approach. Ocean Acoustics uses sound to listen in to whatís happening and collect data that illuminates life in the ocean. Land ecologists study landscape, geology and weather. Ocean acousticians talk about soundscapes. A soundscape is just like a landscape: itís a picture of whatís happening in the ocean environment using sound instead of images to describe the ecosystem. Scientists collect sounds from biologic life, humans sound (shipping) and abiotic sounds: wind waves, ice and currents.
In June, 2018 I was invited to participate in a research project using ocean acoustics to understand life in the sea. By participating in the science aboard the RV Endeavor, I was inspired to create art that will help others understand the information researchers are discovering by listening in to the ocean soundscape. My time aboard the ship was spent participating in science, learning the basics of ocean acoustics and learning how the field of ocean acoustic is assessing biologic, human and abiotic sound in the Outer Continental Shelf area of the Atlantic Ocean.
Dr. Jennifer Miksis-Olds - Research Professor, School of Marine Science and Engineering, University of New Hampshire
Dr. Joseph D. Warren - Associate Professor, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stonybrook University
Dr. Derek Olson - Assistant Professor, Naval Postgraduate School
Dr. Tim Moore - Assistant Research Professor, Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory, University of New Hampshire
Dr. Richard Kirby - Independent Researcher , Film Maker and Author "Ocean Drifters: A Secret World Beneath The Waves"
Dr. Sebastian Velez -International Law Enforcement Analyst, NOAA
Special thanks to the University of New Hampshire for their support, the ADEON project for sharing data, NASA for the use of satellite images, and the Art Institute of Chicago Textile Department.