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Chasing Wild Sounds – Richard Nelson to speak tomorrow at UAS Sitka Campus.


As part of its Natural History Seminar Series, Richard Nelson and Hank Lentfer will share their explorations of Glacier Bay National Park.

According to Richard, “Glacier Bay is one of the most amazing places in the world. It was under ice and water until only about 200 years ago.” For the last 2 years Nelson and Lentfer have taken their recording equipment and descriptive skills with them to this strange and remarkable area – 4,164 square miles of wilderness, managed in a cooperative effort by the U.S. government and the Tlingit and Hoonah native American organizations.

In their Sitka Campus lecture, Richard and Hank will share photos and sounds from their efforts to document the sounds under water, under ice, in the air and on land in this diverse and changing topography. “Everything from the subtle scratches of a crab's claw on sand grains, to the reverberating trumpet calls of humpback whales” have been gathered.

Nelson and Lentfer call this audio catalog of rarely-heard natural sounds "Voices of Glacier Bay National Park." The Glacier Bay audio project is an effort to pursue the sounds of nature... track them, listen to them, record them, and attempt to understand what they are saying – their “voice”. Then, from the hours of meticulously recorded material, the two scientists are creating a library preserving and documenting the natural sounds from the park and surrounding protected areas – the surprising sounds of barnacles on rocks, and the persuasive inanimate voices of the ice, the water, and the air. http://www.nps.gov/glba/naturescience/soundscape.htm

Nelson is known for his weekly series on NPR, "Encounters North". Lentfer has recently written a book entitled Faith of Cranes about his dual transformative experiences – raising a young daughter and tracking the life of sandhill cranes.

The presentation at UAS, like other Nelson/Lentfer productions, promises to combine careful science with the dramatic and emotional excitement of “earwitness” encounters with nature. Feel free to contact Kitty LaBounty at UAS with your questions about the event. Phone: 747-9432 or email kitty.labounty@uas.alaska.edu

Funding for the seminar series is provided by a grant to the Sitka Sound Science Center by the Sitka Permanent Charitable Trust and by the University of Alaska Southeast. 

Details follow:

  • Thursday, December 5 at 7:30 pm
  • Room 229 on the UAS Sitka Campus
  • 1332 Seward Ave., Sitka, Alaska 99835
  • Free Admission – but arrive early to be sure to get a seat.

For more information, contact Owen Kindig, Public Information Officer of UAS Sitka Campus. 


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