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blue water

Coastal Futures Conservatory: Soundscapes of Restoration

Photo by Jeremy Bishop

Soundscapes of Restoration advances projects in sonification and soundscape ecology that will intersect with current environmental and social science research at the Virginia Coast Reserve. Through this ERI CoLab project we will develop humanistic and artistic issues running in parallel with the science. This work will also develop essential building blocks towards the Coastal Conservatory’s forthcoming NEH Collaborative Research Grant. With both this CoLab and the NEH grant we seek to intersect with UVA’s recently awarded NSF Coastlines and People (CoPe) grant project. As the NSF CoPe grant seeks to map coastal society, our project adds layers of sound, bringing issues of aesthetics and ethics to the map. Soundscapes of Restoration will start with an intensive study of the ecoacoustics of oyster bed and seagrass meadow restoration, in the summer of 2022. We will then connect that into the broader mapping index of the Eastern shores through the use of sonification of data sets of environmental and social sciences. The products of our work will be exhibited at the Eastern shores, at a venue such as the Barrier Islands Research Center where we have previously exhibited our work. It will also be exhibited at UVA and in a national context such as at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

Through the emerging field of ecoacoustics, UVA’s new Coastal Futures Conservatory develops environmental sound and listening as a platform for collaboration between the humanities and sciences. By “listening for coastal futures” and “sounding science” the Conservatory advances UVA’s connection with the Eastern Shore and with the communities that face increased health, economic and environmental threats as a result of climate-driven coastal change. This ERI CoLab project primarily addresses the Resilience and Adaptation area focus, developing ecoacoustic methods to promote the restoration of seagrass meadows and oyster reefs, habitats that mitigate the effects of sea level rise, filter and condition the water, absorb carbon. These projects are already longstanding and successful projects of the VCR. We hope to pursue some experimental methods using sound that could support that work, in particular using sound to measure seagrass respiration, and to study the health of oyster reefs. We will also develop a public program to bring this research to the local and national community. These public facing outcomes communicate aesthetics and ethics as part of a convergent research plan. In this way, they can potentially transform our society. Ultimately, we imagine Soundscapes of Restoration leading to public demand for restoration efforts to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and to enact policies for reduced greenhouse emissions.


Outcomes from this Project

Publications

Mourning El Dorado: literature and extractivism in the contemporary American tropics
Soundscapes of Restoration Album
Soundscapes of Restoration Booklet

Outreach

Soundscapes of Restoration Exhibition on the Environmental Thought and Practice(ETP)
Oyster Restoration in Virginia
Restore the Marks we Have Left Upon It
They Came Again
Sacred Geometry
Don’t Forget to Breathe. You Too are a Natural Thing
The Ghost
For the Trees
Colonial National Historic Park Ishmus Flats Design Proposal
The Shore and I
The Forest Memorial Path, a Redesign of the Brownsville Preserve Path, Virginia Coast

Presentations

The Coastal Conservatory
Ecoacoustics for Long Term Ecological Research
Soundscapes of Restoration
Oyster Communion and Crab Flutes
Concert - Soundscapes of Hope by EcoSono Ensemble

Project Team

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Willis
Jenkins
Professor of Ethics; Department Chair
University of Virginia
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C. (Matthew)
Burtner
Professor
University of Virginia
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Matthew
Reidenbach
Professor
University of Virginia
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Rotunda
Martin
Volaric
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karen mcglathery
Karen
McGlathery
EI Director; Professor
University of Virginia
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Jonathan
Cannon
Professor of Law
University of Virginia
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Rotunda
Eli
Stine
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Christopher
Luna-Mega
University of Virginia
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Image of Charlotte Rogers
Charlotte
Rogers
Lisa Smith Discovery Chair; Associate Professor
University of Virginia
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andrew karhl
Andrew
Kahrl
Professor
University of Virginia
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beth roach
Beth
Roach
Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia
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Cora
Baird
Site Director, Virginia Coastal Research Center
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