Glenbrook South Year-End Projects

Sight and Sound in Nature

Internet Links

The following World Wide Web sites offer information relevant to your project. Depending on your particular research interest, some sites will obviously be more relevant than others. To optimize the efforts of your web search, each site has been described so that you might judge its usefulness in advance. As you proceed with your World Wide Web search, document your progress (both successes and failures) using the Web Site Trail sheet.



Research Program



Cornell University operates a Bioacoustics Research Program. This site describes the research efforts conducted by the program, which focus primarily upon whale migration and bird calls and songs. The BRP has collected over 70 000 sounds of bird calls and ultimately plans to make them available (in part) on the WWW. A CD of whale sounds can also be purchased for a minimal price through the BRP. An additional treat involves the opportunity to subscribe to the BIOACOUSTICS-L mailing list inorder to ask questions and receive answers from experts in the field of bioacoustics.


Library of

Natural Sounds




Cornell University also possesses a Library of natural Sounds. The libarary has collected over 120 000 swildlife recordings of birds, marine mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and ultimately plans to make them available (in part) on the WWW. The site describes the history of sound recording and sine details about the various equipment used to record sounds in nature.


Laboratory of

Marine Bioacoustics


The activity of the Laboratory of Marine Bioacoustics in Italy focuses on the development of research projects on the acoustic communication in marine animals, the study of practical applications in regard to the monitoring and censusing of cetaceans, the development of advanced methods of sound analysis based on digital signal processing, the establishment of a Sound Library of Mediterranean Cetaceans as well as the technical support to other institutions involved in bioacoustical research. A variety of sounds can be downloaded from this site.


The Borror

Laboratory of

Bioacoustics (BLB)



The Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics (BLB) is a unit within the Department of Zoology of The Ohio State University, and is housed in the College of Biological Sciences' Museum of Biological Diversity. The BLB houses one of the largest collections of recorded animal sounds in the world. The collection contains approximately 23,200 recordings of over 1000 species of animals (insects, fishes, reptiles, birds, mammals, etc.). Many of these can be downloaded for analysis.


The Laboratory

of Seismics

and Acoustics


This lab conducts research and Development on acoustic control and acoustic imaging. The site describes how desired audio signals (speech, music) are processed such that they have optimal quality and intelligibility, undesired sound (noise) is optimally suppressed. The study of how acoustic waves can be used to image a geometrical landscape is described as well. Finally, the site contains several links to related information.


Acoustic Society

of America

The ASA is the premier scientific society dedicated to increasing and diffusing the knowledge of acoustics and its practical applications. Their web page contains both information and links. Useful information at this site includes lengthy and informative pages on the topics of "wave theory of sound," careers in acoustics, and an entire section called "Lay Language Papers" (which you must visit). The site also contains several excellent whale sounds which can be listened to online.



The World Forum

for Acoustic



The University of Oregon operates this site. It has recently been expanded and improved and now contains a wealth of on-line information relevant to acoustic ecology. You will find an entire collection of articles at this site (the "Online Reader") and even links to more articles at other sites. Final features include high quality links, a list of educational, teaching, and reading resources, sound archives, and an invitation to join an online Discussion Group.


The Wildlife Web

This site contains a wealth of links to useful information, a listing of sites where sound files (lemurs, croccodiles, birds, raptors, bats, whales, etc.) can be downloaded, a listing of downloadable tools for sound analysis. If you're looking for sounds to analyze, this is an excellent starting place. The site also contains links to relevant scientific articles on sound, acoustics, and animal sounds.


The Exploratorium



The Exploratorum Museum in San Fransisco maintains a database of all exhibits which they have displayed over the past few years. The list of exhibits is organized alphabetically according to the name of the phenomenon which they illustrate. Each subject name links to a descripiton of the exhibit with an accompanying diagram (usually). In addition to these project descriptions, the Exploratorium site also includes several online exhibits, some of which pertain to your topic.With some patience and persistence at this site, you are likely to develop some ideas for conducting an experimental study on sight and sound in nature.


Bill Nye Online

An internet science search would not be complete without a trip to Bill Nye's (the "Science Guy") site. From this site, you can find a wealth of information relevant to your topic, at-home (or in-class) demonstration ideas, and links to relevant internet information. Be sure to search the Episode Guide for information related to each Bill Nye television episode.



Pilot Project


This site provides an online tutorial on acoustics and the perception of sound. There is a wealth of information (mostly textual in nature) on the physics of sound and hearing.


Dan Russell's Links


I don't know Dan and I have never met Dan; yet there is one thing that I know about Dan - he is really into Acoustics. Dan is a professor of acoustics at Ketterling University in Michigan. And given that fact, this is an excellent site to visit in order to link to sites on the Web which provide information about acoustics. You will find loads of links to useful sites as well as specific information and content concerning the physics of waves, sound and light. To access the content (as opposed to the links), link back to Dr. Russell's home page and then click on the Vibration and Waves Demos and Animations. Once there, you are guaranteed to find useable information. Enjoy!


World Soundscape



Barry Truax is a researcher at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. The Soundscape Project is his educational and research group which is devoted to the collection of sounds common in nature. He is also author of a book titled Handbook of Acoustic Ecology which compiles all major terminology from the fields of acoustics, psychoacoustics, environmental acoustics and noise measurement, electroacoustics, music, linguistics, and soundscape studies. Some time at the site will likely spur ideas and lead to some useful information (including several technical articles).


Acoustics FAQ


WOW! Here's a lengthy lists of questions (many of which are the very ones which you should be answering) with accompanying responses. The information is technical in nature and pertains to both basic acoustic concepts and a variety of applications. You'd be foolish to ignore this site.



Course Notes

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This is likely the best site on the Web for basic background information on the topic of the physics of sound. The information is understandable and at the appropriate level for a first-year high school physics student. The emphasis on attractive and informative graphics makes the site visually appealing. Topics are well-organized and accompanied by a glossary of terms. Finally, the site targets many of the essential background research of which you should be familiar with.


Seeing, Hearing, and

Smelling the World


The Howard Hughes Medical Labs presents this site to inform the public of new findings which help scientists understand the senses. There are a variety of informational pages written for lay people which explain the science of seeing and hearing 9as well as the other senses). Some of the articles relate specifically to animal sight and sound. You must at least take a peek at this site.


New Mexico Bat

Echolocation Library


The University of Mexico conducts research on the sounds produced by bats. They have collected a wealth of sounds for analysis and have made them available for scientific study. The sounds can be downloaded and analyzed. The site also includes information on bat echolocation and links to a wealth of other sites who share a similar focus. If you're into bats, you won't strike out here. Enjoy!


Cochlear Mechanics


Heres a small and developing site devoted to explaining the mechanics of hearing. The mechanisms by which the inner ear separates the frequency components of complex sounds is explained in detail.



Snacks: Sound



The Exploratorium museum is an excellent site with a wealth of interactive information on a variety of topics. This link will allow you to browse an index of the variety of areas which are included in the museum. A few topical areas in the museum include "Sound and Hearing" and "Waves and Resonance." Clicking on one of the areas will allow you to view a list of exhibits in that area. And clicking on one of the exhibits will allow you to view information about that exhibit accompanied by a graphic and an explanation. Very useful and highly recommended.


High School Physics

Program in



The province of Saskatchewan in Canada publishes a syllabus and on-line curriculum guide for their high school physics program. The Physics 20 course discusses many of the topics which we discuss in our second semester of Physics 163. The material is very easy to understand, colorful, and well-writtten. This table of contents page includes links to a wealth of information on waves, light, sound, hearing, harmonics, and resonance. You should find this to be a very useful site.


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Multimedia Physics Studios


This project was originally written as part of the Multimedia Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab. This learning project and those like them were funded by the Midwest Consortium for Mathematics and Science Education based at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).

The GBS Physics staff invite you to send electronic mail:

Tom Henderson

Howard Jenewein

John Lewis

Neil Schmidgall

Dave Smith

Suzanne Webb

Brian Wegley

Questions and comments can be sent to Tom Henderson.

This page last updated on 3/6/98.