Bioacoustics and community knowledge for climate change monitoring

How Bioacoustics Plays a Role in the Climate Crisis

Imagine a world where local communities are engaged in climate science. Imagine people were supported to take the job of climate change adaptation into their own hands. What if bioacoustics could shift the enormity of the climate crisis down to the community level?

The connection between bioacoustics and climate change can be viewed in many different ways. In many instances, bioacoustics is used to monitor species, count populations, and to track how those populations are changing. Therefore, it can be argued, and is often true, that bioacoustics monitors the local effects of climate change. For us, however, we see our work as being a little different than that. Songs of Adaptation is not strictly a scientific or research project. Our end goal is not a published paper or a grand discovery. We see bioacoustics as a tool for engaging people in climate science. 

We go where invited to collaborate with government entities, organizations, and people, that they may notice how their local ecology is being impacted by climate change. Bioacoustics asks people to stop, listen, observe, and take note of how the world is changing. It asks people to face the reality of how population shifts and ecosystem disruptions are happening in their backyards. It provides a path for people to understand how the climate is changing that they may be better prepared to adapt to coming changes.

In a sense, we are listening to what the planet is telling us. We are analyzing data and following scientific processes to ensure the legitimacy of our work. But beyond that, we are opening our ears and inviting communities around the world to join us and hear the stories of the Earth. We are making note of how the sounds shift up a mountain or fade away. The Earth is sending messages to us about how it is being impacted. We invite the world to lean in, listen, and prepare for continued change.

Therein lies our name. Songs of Adaptation. We are a project of Future Generations University using the science of bioacoustics to engage communities in research and discussion about climate change, that they may adapt to a rapidly changing world.

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