Subject: Lowell lectures at the NE Aquarium, Boston

mike williamson (
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 14:00:13 -0500 (EST)

Ken Mallory
New England Aquarium

Spring, 1999 Lowell Lecture Series


Their Importance To The Animals That Live There And How We Can Better
Understand The Effects Of Human Introduced Sounds

The rapid rise of sounds we humans have introduced in the oceans and in our
coastal zones increasingly concerns marine mammal biologists. This Lowell
Lecture series is intended to create a better understanding of the physics
and environmental role of underwater sound as well as some of the issues
now facing the scientific and regulatory communities.

In April, the New England Aquarium opened a new special exhibit in our
Exploration Center called Sounds of the Sea.  The spring 1999 Lowell
Lecture series is devoted to this theme and this exhibit.

Lectures are Wednesday or Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m.  in the Aquarium's
conference center, which is part of the Education Center at the foot of the
Boston Harbor garage. Each presentation is free to the general public
thanks to the support of the Lowell Institute.  Seating is limited and
available on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance tickets are
available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope indicating the
lectures of your choice and the number of tickets requested, by sending a
FAX to Lowell Lectures at 617-367-6615, or an e-mail to

April 14: THE ONCE AND FUTURE PING: The Development of Acoustic Methods to
Reduce Fishery/Marine Mammal Conflicts

Scott Kraus, Director of Research, Edgerton Research Laboratory, New
England Aquarium

A large scale double-blind experiment was conducted off the coast of New
Hampshire in the autumn of 1994 within an operational groundfish gillnet
fishery. The results indicated that acoustic deterrent devices (ADD's, also
known as pingers) spaced every 95 meters along a gillnet would reduce
harbor porpoise catches by an order of magnitude over "un-pingered" nets.
This talk will raise questions about how pingers work, the upside and
downside of their use as a management tool for reducing marine mammal
deaths, and how they might be deployed in the future.

April  22: WHALE VOICES FROM THE DEEP OCEAN  What could they be telling us?

Chris Clark, I. P. Johnson Director of Bioacoustics Research Program,
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Senior Scientist, Section of Neurobiology and
Behavior, Cornell University

The large whales produce a great variety of sounds and songs, and these
seem to be different between coastal and deep ocean species. Recent access
to Navy arrays indicates the enormous scales over which whales might be
communicating. Are the different sounds they make an adaptation to their
different environments, and what does this tell us about the whales'
dependence on sound for survival?  What are the implications of society's
increased demands to probe the ocean with sound for research, exploration,
exploitation and defense?


Peter Tyack, Ph.D., Associate Scientist, Biology Department, Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution

Marine mammals rely upon sound to communicate and to explore their
environment.  At the same time, humans are introducing an ever-growing
number of ever-louder noises into the sea. Too much noise could degrade the
quality of critical marine mammal habitats, potentially masking natural
sounds or even causing animals to avoid an area around the sound source.
Tyack will review U.S. policy regulating ocean noise and will describe
recent playback experiments to study how whales respond to loud low
frequency noise source.


Darlene Ketten, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass.;
Harvard Medical School

Marine mammals, and whales in particular, present an interesting hearing
paradox.  On one hand, marine mammal ears physically resemble land mammal
ears and it is likely hearing damage occurs by similar mechanisms in both
groups; i.e., from increases in ambient noise.  On the other hand, marine
mammals evolved in a relatively high noise environment, which may mean they
have "tougher" inner ears that are less subject to hearing loss. What is
our current understanding of the hazards from a hearing view point that
man-made noise in the oceans is expected to produce?

MAY 13:  ATOC (Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate) and the Future of
Acoustics in Ocean Exploration

Arthur B. Baggeroer, Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations
Chair in Ocean Sciences, Depts. of Ocean and Electrical Engineering,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Oceanographers have used sound for many important discoveries in
ocean science, so scientists were more than surprised when the Heard
Island Feasibility Test (HIFT) and the subsequent Acoustic Thermometry
of Ocean Climate were met with such strong opposition.  This talk
will discuss the controversy surrounding the (ATOC) program to measure
changes in ocean temperature and some of the popular misconceptions
about ambient sound in the ocean.  It is not a silent world!  We also
will explore the future of acoustics in ocean exploration and how it
is one of the most effective methods for "imaging" the ocean.

SPECIAL TALK MONDAY, JULY 19 BY WALTER MUNK, of the Scripps Institution of
Oceanography on ATOC.  Write or call for more information.

Ken Mallory                                     Voice: (617) 973-5295
Editor-in-Chief                                 Fax: (617) 367-6615
Publishing Programs                             E-mail:
New England Aquarium                            Address: Central Wharf, Boston
                                                MA 02110