Archive for January, 2017

The past and future of hydrophone networks

Listening for whales

A discussion of hydrophone networks — past and future — with an emphasis on the Salish Sea (Washington State, USA; and British Columbia, Canada)

Talk and discussion hosted by the Puget Sound Chapter of the American Cetacean Society (Facebook event)

January 18, 2017 at the Phinney Ridge Community Center in Seattle

The spread of the Internet, computing infrastructure, and “ocean observatories” are enabling a new human connection with the oceans and the whales within them.  I will briefly review extant hydrophone networks, best practices, and exciting new technologies, and then lead a discussion about the future of the “Salish Sea Hydrophone Network” (SSHP, ) and other hydrophones in the Northeast Pacific.

If you would like to help improve the hydrophone network, please

A history of listening to the “Puget Soundscape” (& vicinity)

Discuss: Know of any others, better dates, or old recordings?

Here’s a rough chronology of listening efforts in the Salish Sea, or at least Puget Sound.  Let us know in the comments if you know of others or spy an error!

  • 1950s
    • Navy recordings of SRKWs (mentioned by Candi during talk)
  • 1960s
    • Some recordings made during the capture of killer whales in/near Puget Sound (e.g. by Rich Osborne)
  • 1970s
    • Single hydrophones at Lime Kiln
      • Whale Museum’s “Seasound Remote Sensing Network”
      • Archived at The Whale Museum
    • Deployments intermittently by Center for Whale Research (CWR)
    • Multiple hydrophones at Orca Lab (Paul Spong and Helena Symonds in Johnstone Strait, BC)
      • Began a decades-long, nearly continuous sound monitoring effort
      • Started one of most-developed, long-lasting listening communities
    • 1978?: Robin Baird and Pam Stacey deploy hydrophone at Race Rocks
  • 1980-90s
  • 2000s
    • 2000: Joe Olson records Kingdome demolition
    • 2001: Val Veirs deploys array with college students (between CWR & Roche Harbor)
    • 2005: Navy records transients in Dabob Bay
    • 2005-2012: Salish Sea Hydrophone Project expands to 5 nodes from Lime Kiln (Scott and Val Veirs with funding & support from: Jason Wood of TWM; NOAA; WDFW; Cornell Bioacoustics course)
    • 2013: Orca Lab and University of Victoria launch the Orchive
    • Field studies of SRKW bioacoustics, some boat-based (Foote, Griffin, Bain, Wieland, Miller, Au, …), including the Beam Reach data archive
    • Feild studies of ship noise (Hildebrand, Bassett)
    • Marla Holt deploys acoustic DTAGs on SRKWs
    • Ocean Networks Canada’s VENUS
    • Gulf Island deployments:
      • Sherringham Point and South Pender (Cotrell, Ford, Yurk)
      • Eastpoint, Saturna Island (SIMRES, Larry Peck)
      • Active Pass?
    • PAM via autonomous recorders (mostly outer coast, but some within Salish Sea, e.g. Rob Williams)
    • 2012-2016: Beam Reach maintains SSHP
    • 2015-16: Port of Vancouver studies (SMRU, Jasco) and ECHO program
  • Other (not sure of deployment period)
    • Orca FM (Vancouver Aquarium’s [previously] live and archived sounds from Johnstone Strait) [was hosted by and]

Accomplishments & assets of the Salish Sea Hydrophone Network

Discuss: What have been highlights for you?

Notable deployments beyond the Salish Sea

Discuss: If you’d tried any of these, what worked well, or didn’t?

Know of other links or streams?  Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them!

Precedent-setting citizen-science (& other technologies?)

Discuss: If you’d tried any of these, what worked well, or didn’t?

Tell us in the comments about your favorite citizen-science experiences, especially if they have to do with whales and/or acoustics!

  • Whale.FM – Organized orca and pilot whale calls
  • Zooniverse – Many projects, but only a few related to marine species or bioacoustics
  • Orchive

What is your vision for future hydrophone networks?

Discuss: What more could be done (for you!) by hydrophone networks (and collaborators)?

If you would like to help improve the hydrophone network, please

  • Low-cost, low-maintenance nodes (two cost levels for listening vs research)
  • Low bandwidth nodes: stream compression and local generation of data products
  • High bandwidth nodes: raw stream, web-based control, and no local analysis
  • 10-day data buffer
  • High-performance supercomputing analysis in the cloud
  • Advanced citizen/scientist social network
    • public access to basic resources and functionality, plus conservation calls-to-action?
    • clear identity upon registration
    • tutorials
    • responsibilities and benefits that increase based on contributions and reputation
      • geographic notification
      • unmoderated detections
      • participation in advanced training and research
      • editorial, teaching, and quality control roles
  • Mobile deployments (stream or calibrated) via an app?
  • SRKW location data for research responses?
  • Ship noise monitoring?
  • Integration in oil spill prevention and response?
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