Ocean Noise


March 03, 2014

  Killer whales depend on a quiet ocean to navigate, find food and choose mates.  Much of our work with acousticians at Cornell involves estimating how much acoustic habitat whales are losing from chronic, rising levels of noise.  Here’s a simple animation that describes that work. In addition to masking the whales’ calls, animals can […]


November 12, 2013

We recently published a paper reporting ocean noise levels in important whale habitats along the BC coast.  At the same time, we released an animation that outlined the key concepts.  Our research showed that the most important habitats for killer whales were the noisiest; important habitats for humpback whales were comparatively quiet. We thought you […]

Secret to a Sound Ocean

October 23, 2013

[vsw id=”77623625″ source=”vimeo” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”] Sound is as important to whales as vision is to humans. Our scientific research (with Chris Clark and Dimitri Ponirakis at Cornell University’s Bioacoustics Research Program) is measuring how noisy or quiet important habitats are to fin, humpback and killer whales in British Columbia, Canada, and how we think […]

Happy Spring!

March 26, 2013

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ― Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg It’s officially spring!  Cherry blossoms are a sure sign that spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest.  But for Pacific white-sided dolphins, spring means herring.  Each spring, Pacific herring find their way to inlets and coastal areas to […]

National Monuments and Marine Protected Areas

March 25, 2013

Today, President Barack Obama designated five new national monuments, including Cattle Point on San Juan Island in Washington state. This is exciting news, not only because Cattle Point is beautiful and has historic  relevance, but because important feeding habitat of one of the most critically endangered marine mammal populations in the US is just off Cattle […]

Please vote for our Quiet Ocean Campaign

December 15, 2012

Please help our work win much-needed funding to keep whale and dolphin habitat quiet.  It is ridiculously easy for you to help. Click HERE. It’ll take you to Facebook so you can vote for our Quiet Ocean Campaign.  Just click the green button. Great! Thanks! That’s it. Unless you want to ask your friends to vote, […]


November 04, 2012

We recently partnered with two acousticians, Christine Erbe of Curtin University and Alex MacGillivray of JASCO, to predict how BC’s waters sound to a whale.  Using shipping traffic data compiled by Patrick O’Hara (which we used previously in a ship strike analysis for fin, humpback and killer whales), and making some assumptions about how noisy […]

We Heart Vancouver {and Vancouver Magazine}

October 09, 2012

In July, Rob and I stopped in Vancouver on our way up to our field site for our dolphin field work. We love Vancouver and don’t need much of an excuse to spend time in the city, but this one had a purpose:  a Vancouver Magazine photoshoot.  Journalist, Roberta Staley had written an article for Vancouver Magazine about our Quiet Ocean Campaign and […]


January 01, 2012

Our plan was to spend a quiet year in Scotland.  Erin’s making great strides on her PhD on Pacific white-sided dolphins.  Rob won a Marie Curie Fellowship to model the effects of noise on whale populations.  But MAN!  This ended up being one of our busiest years ever.  Here are 11 of our highlights of […]

Oceans Initiative launches Quiet Ocean Campaign

June 08, 2011

There’s a whole lot of noise in the ocean, and it seems to be getting worse. Chronic ocean noise in some sites is doubling every decade. Today on World Oceans Day, we explain why we should all care about the rising levels of noise on whales and other marine species. In 2008, we started an […]