Find more projects

Killer Whale Tracker

Main Project Information
Goal Monitor endangered Pacific Northwest killer whales.
Task Detect orca sounds and measure noise levels using hydrophones.
Where Online only
Description

The Salish Sea Hydrophone Network needs volunteers to help monitor the critical habitat of endangered Pacific Northwest killer whales by detecting orca sounds and measuring ambient noise levels. Volunteers are especially needed to help notify researchers when orcas are in the Salish Sea, which encompasses the waters of Puget Sound and the surrounding area.

Sponsored by a coalition of organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Whale Museum, and Beam Reach Marine Science, the network consists of five hydrophones, each hooked up to a computer to analyze the signal and stream it via the internet.

Even though software is used to distinguish animal from other underwater sound, human ears do a better job of detecting unusual sounds. So volunteers monitor the network from their home computers anywhere in the world, and alert the rest of the network when they hear whale sounds. Sometimes boats or onshore monitors are deployed to study the whales in other ways. Researchers hope to learn more about the uses of orca communications and whale migration patterns.

How to Join

Visit http://www.orcasound.net/ to find out how to access the sound files, what to listen for, and how to log in your observations.

Links related to project descritption
http://hotline.whalemuseum.org
http://www.beamreach.org/externships

Website http://www.orcasound.net/
Participation Fee $0
Expenses $0
Required Gear

To listen to the hydrophones, you must be able to receive ShoutCast streams. Advice about appropriate software can be found at http://www.orcasound.net/ under "Listening Guidance."

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time indoors
Type of Activity Exclusively online
Tags ocean, whale
Project Updated 09/20/2016