The American Midwest Soundscape Initiative (AMSI) seeks to quantify and characterize the natural and cultural soundscapes of the north-central interior of the United States. Historically the bread basket and manufacturing epicenter of the nation, its landscape is a mosaic of lakes, forests and grasslands. Unique features include the massive Laurentian Great Lakes, towering coastal dunes, and thousands of glacial lakes that have supported numerous species of mammals, birds, amphibian and fish. This is the birthplace of the automobile, the Aldo Leopold land ethic, and Motown music.
We want to develop a full understanding of the ecological and social dimension of soundscapes that occur in the Midwestern United States. Through soundscape recordings, interviews and other techniques, we hope to assemble and properly describe the soundscapes of an area that are home to America’s Breadbasket and manufacturing base.
A long term (>7 years) study designed to examine potential impacts of climate change on animal community structure in seven different habitats.
Located at and around Aldo’s famous shack where he penned “Sand County Almanac”, this study seeks to understand how long term (>50 year) changes to bird communities have changed the soundscape, how highway noise impacts bird species nest selection, and how a soundscape ethic can be developed using the principles of Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic.
In partnership with DePaul University, we seek to integrate sounds from nature, our majestic cities and music in order to celebrate the sounds of people and place.
As America’s heartland was once a rolling landscape of grasses, we seek to understand how soundscapes from physically restored grasslands can be returned to their original grandeur.
As our modern society has become dependent on massive machinery to support human life, we are trying to determine if planting trees can help reduce the “industrial hum” that permeates our manufacturing landscape. Conducted at a Hoosier Electric power plant, we desire to work with industry to find solutions to improve the quality of all of our landscapes and soundscapes.