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MOWA | Aldo Leopold, Natural Soundscapes and Spirit of a Place
December 17, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Aldo Leopold, Natural Soundscapes and Spirit of a Place
This is a free, in-person event hosted by the Museum of Wisconsin Art. No registration required!
For Aldo Leopold part of the enjoyment of being outdoors was experiencing the sounds of nature. His essays in A Sand Count Almanac make frequent reference to how natural sounds provide an important sense of place. But in the lower 48 states today, it is increasingly impossible to escape human-generated noise, even in places designated as wilderness, making it difficult to study or simply enjoy natural soundscapes. Preserving the natural sounds of a place may be just as challenging as conserving its plants and animals. By noting and studying the role of sound in the natural world, Leopold proved again to be ahead of his time. Science is only now coming to grips with the loss of natural soundscapes, the totality of the sounds of nature (much like the music of an entire orchestra) rather than the individual components of the soundscape. Understanding how nature’s “music” is changing and how much attention we need to pay to the sounds introduced by people are challenges. Professor Stan Temple will explore Aldo 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.
Stanley (Stan) Temple is the Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and former Chairman of the Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development Program in the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW–Madison. For 32 years he held the academic position once occupied by Aldo Leopold. He is currently a Senior Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation. He has received major conservation awards from the Society for Conservation Biology, The Wildlife Society and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. Among other recognition of his achievements, 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. He has been President of the Society for Conservation Biology and Chairman of the Board of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin.