Grassland Soundscapes Workshop Application


DUE MAY 22, 2015 5P EDT

JULY 13-17, 2015

Over 40% 0f earth was once covered by grasslands. These ecosystems have undergone a dramatic shift over the last several centuries as they now support growing a majority of agricultural crops for over 7 billion people. In the future, these landscapes will also have to provide human society with energy and other material goods. Wildlife that used to dominate these landscapes, such as the American buffalo (or bison) and whooping crane have been nearly wiped out. The spring, once considered to be so loud that locals referred to the migratory period of waterbirds through this area as the “rock concert of the grasslands,” is diminishing due to the collapse of wintering habitat for these extraordinary fliers. Prairie potholes were once scattered across many areas of the central plains, providing fresh water for millions of migratory animals. A majority of these potholes have since been filled in, or used as a source of water to grow our crops. Soundscape studies have also dominated forested and urban areas. Almost nothing is known about the key sounds that occur in these globally important ecosystems.

The Global Sustainable Soundscape Network’s site(s) for 2015 places our group squarely in some of the most pristine and research intensive grasslands in the world. New partners at the Crane Trust, the Platte Basin Timelapse Project, the EROS Data Center and the South Dakota State University Oak Lake Research Station will help us to understand the roles that grasslands play in our society and in nature. This unique workshop will focus on the integration of soundscapes with an enormous time lapse photography project spanning the Platte River Basin, and introduce us to the vast resources of the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center (the global repository for all space and airborne based remote sensing imagery of land), as well as the SDSU Oak Lake Research Station Experimental Field Station, where 100s of research projects have been completed on restoration efforts for prairie pothole landscapes.

Interfaces to Native American culture, music and art will also be a focus of the five day workshop. A Soundscape Bus (!) will take us through the grasslands of North America from the tall grass prairies and basins of the southern portion of the central plains up through the eastern portion of the Prairie Potholes. We intend to further explore, share and create new ideas for research, education and public outreach in the area of soundscape science.

We have had Wildlife Acoustic sensors going at the Crane Trust since the first week of March and plan to have many installed at the SDSU site both on land and in a variety of prairie potholes. Airfare (or mileage, whichever is first), lodging and food will be covered by the NSF GSSN grant. A unique part of this workshop is the travel. Everyone will fly into Lincoln, NE (Sunday July 12, 2015), and then leave from Sioux Falls, SD (Saturday July 18, 2015). Options to hop on the Soundscape Bus (!) in the Midwest (and gain some “windshield time with your friends,”) will be provided as an option for those of us in the Indiana-Michigan-Chicago area.

Part 1. Contact Information

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Part 2. Travel Information

Due to this year’s workshop being in two locations, you will need to fly into Lincoln, NE on Sunday, July 12 and fly out of Sioux Falls, SD on Saturday, July 18. Please keep this in mind when estimating travel costs. If you arrive or depart on days other than these you are responsible for all expenses incurred on those days (e.g. lodging, shuttle, meals, etc).

Please estimate travel expenses using a site such as or

Means of travel:

 Fly Drive

If you are driving, what is your estimated roundtrip mileage?

If you are flying, what is your estimated airline expenses

Preferred Airline

Potential arrival dates and times

Part 3. Participant Information

Select the activities that you would like to participate in.

 Presentations on research or education. Brainstorming sessions on research designs. Brainstorming sessions on education. Brainstorming sessions on soundscape management. Brainstorming on citizen science initiatives. Hands-on training of tools and data analysis. Field trips to grassland ecology destinations. Jam sessions (informal group and/or individual performances). Soundwalks and YELLS (soundscape learning activities). Field trip to Earth Resources Observation and Science Center Soundscape ethics session. Other

Please add any additional details for any of the items listed above in the box below:

Part 4. Background Information

Describe your interest in soundscape ecology:

Describe your area of research:

Describe your education and outreach interests related to sustainable soundscapes:

Part 5. Restrictions

Dietary considerations (e.g. Vegetarian, Vegan, etc.)

Mobility considerations



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If you have questions, please contact Ms. Meredith Cobb, GSSN Project Coordinator, at: or (765) – 494-3951.