Gregory Miller, MN'08, a recognized expert on acoustical measurements in the field, was recently quoted in a popular book saying "modern humans are functionally deaf". Members heading to the field are encouraged to attend this practical session to learn why this is so. Greg points out within the animal domain the ability to perceive sound above and below the range of human hearing is well established. The ability to analyze high and low frequency sound, however, used to be something that needed to be done in a well funded lab. Recent changes in technology have resulted in a new generation of analysis equipment which is low cost, lightweight and easily utilized in real time in the field. Greg will discuss how to ‘look’ for acoustical energy in the field using NOAA recordings of Cetacean vocalizations. He will then explain key terms that describe acoustical energy and will make real time measurements of infrasonic energy constantly passing through our own Lowell Thomas Building. Greg will discuss the software/hardware that can be utilized in the field, ranging from low cost apps that operate on many modern phones to lightweight hardware which can be connected to a laptop for more sophisticated analysis. Real world applications relevant to members’ field work will be presented.
For ‘fun’ Greg will also run some informal hearing tests, generating various tones giving members the opportunity to signal when they are heard, and when they are no longer audible. He promises a lot of variation among attendees. Additionally, Greg will outline the acoustical analysis he did for Catherine Berchok at NOAA of her recordings of Blue Whales which will be played although only parts fall within the range of human hearing. There is an entire world above and below the range of human hearing. Join in for an evening of exploring these acoustical realms.