When you step outside, how clearly can you hear nature's sounds? Even if you are unplugged, it might be difficult to pick up the intricate chorus of western Wisconsin's boisterous birds.
Aldo Leopold, considered by many to be the father of wildlife ecology, was fascinated with Wisconsin’s natural sounds. His essays in "A Sand County Almanac" make frequent reference to how natural sounds provide an important sense of place. But 80 years later, it is increasingly difficult to escape human-generated noise, even in places designated as wilderness.
UW-Eau Claire – Barron County will open this year’s "Thursdays at the U" series with a presentation titled "Leopold, Soundscapes and the Spirit of Place" by renowned conservationist Dr. Stanley Temple from noon-1 p.m. Sept. 5 in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus.
By noting and studying the role of sound in the natural world, Leopold proved to be ahead of his time. Temple will explore Leopold’s fascination with natural sounds, introduce the new field of soundscape ecology and share his detailed recreation of the dawn chorus of birds that Leopold meticulously documented at his beloved shack in June 1940.
Temple is a professor emeritus in UW-Madison’s department of forest and wildlife ecology as well as a senior fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation. In addition, he is a fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union, Explorers Club, Wildlife Conservation Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
For more information about "Thursdays at the U," contact Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, professor emeritus of psychology, UW Colleges, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-788-6216.