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Teaching with the Macaulay Library: An Online Archive of Animal Behavior Recordings

    Authors: Ileana Betancourt1, Colleen M. McLinn1,*
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 03 May 2012
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850. Phone: 607-254-1148. Fax: 607-254-2111. E-mail: mclinn@cornell.edu.
    • Copyright © 2012 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2012 vol. 13 no. 1 86-88. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.382
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    Abstract:

    Using video and audio recordings of animal behavior, students in a variety of courses can pose questions and gather data from diverse species and locations to test their hypotheses. Such recordings are freely available online in the Macaulay Library, the world’s largest scientifically curated archive of natural history media. Managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Macaulay Library currently houses about 50,000 video clips and 123,300 audio recordings (including the sounds of 75 percent of the world’s bird species, and recordings dating back to 1929). This article, aimed at faculty teaching biology and environmental science courses, summarizes how to search the online archive and visualize streaming sound files with Raven Viewer. It also describes how instructors have used these tools in introductory and upper-level laboratory and lecture classes as part of the NSF-funded Online Research in Biology project.

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References & Citations

1. Elliott L 2006 The songs of wild birds Houghton Mifflin New York, NY
2. Elliott L, Hershberger W 2007 The songs of insects Houghton Mifflin New York, NY
3. Gaunt SL, Nelson DA, Dantzker MS, Budney GF, Bradbury JW 2005 New directions for bioacoustics collections The Auk 122 984 987 10.1642/0004-8038(2005)122[0984:NDFBC]2.0.CO;2 http://dx.doi.org/10.1642/0004-8038(2005)122[0984:NDFBC]2.0.CO;2
4. Kroodsma D 2005 The singing life of birds: the art and science of listening to birdsong Houghton Mifflin New York, NY
5. McCallum A 2010 Birding by ear, visually Birding 42 50 63
6. Ranft R 2004 Natural sound archives: past, present, and future An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 76 455 465 10.1590/S0001-37652004000200041 15258666 http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652004000200041
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.382
2012-05-03
2017-09-21

Abstract:

Using video and audio recordings of animal behavior, students in a variety of courses can pose questions and gather data from diverse species and locations to test their hypotheses. Such recordings are freely available online in the Macaulay Library, the world’s largest scientifically curated archive of natural history media. Managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Macaulay Library currently houses about 50,000 video clips and 123,300 audio recordings (including the sounds of 75 percent of the world’s bird species, and recordings dating back to 1929). This article, aimed at faculty teaching biology and environmental science courses, summarizes how to search the online archive and visualize streaming sound files with Raven Viewer. It also describes how instructors have used these tools in introductory and upper-level laboratory and lecture classes as part of the NSF-funded Online Research in Biology project.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

The front page of the Macaulay Library after pressing the “+” button for advanced search options. As well as facilitating searches by location, age, sex, or behavior, advanced search allows the user to find three specific types of recordings: 1) Environmental (ambient soundscapes or scenic vistas); 2) Effects (e.g., feet crunching snow, thunder); and 3) People (including a large number of archived scientist interviews from the joint NPR and National Geographic program Radio Expeditions).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2012 vol. 13 no. 1 86-88. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.382
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Ithaca College students use the Macaulay Library to design their own investigations on variation in animal sounds as part of an Animal Behavior lab section. The “at-a-glance” guide to Raven Viewer pictured can be found on the Online Research in Biology website (http://birds.cornell.edu/orb). Instructors may wish to ask the students to bring headphones or earbuds, and may want to provide alcohol wipes or splitters for sharing headphones.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2012 vol. 13 no. 1 86-88. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.382
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