BRP at the Migration Celebration Day 2017

September 26, 2017

Migration Celebration Day is the biggest annual public engagement event hosted by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Each year we invite the local and regional communities to visit the Lab and learn about our ongoing science and conservation efforts. On September 16, we celebrated the 11th Migration Celebration Day. Over 1,500 visitors explored more than 30 exhibits, activities, and workshops throughout the day.

Similar to previous years, BRP had a strong presence in the 2017 Migration Celebration Day. A group of approximately 20 staff/volunteers hosted a total of 8 exhibits and a behind-the-scene workshop. Many visitors came to the BRP exhibit and talked to us about many different aspects of our work. Following is a brief overview of our exhibits/activities:

Raven Exhibit

The new Raven Exhibit was one of the highlights of BRP’s exhibits. Visitors of all ages stopped by and explored a wide variety of marine and terrestrial sounds and learned more about the critters producing them.

Science of Sound 

Scientists from three different continents hosted BRP’s “Science of Sound” exhibit. This was a great opportunity for the visitors to meet researchers using sound to study kiwis in New Zealand, Indian Ocean humpback dolphins in India, and Guiana dolphins in Brazil.

Field Operation and Recording Instruments

Work of the BRP Field Operation team and the recording instruments that we are using to collect sound in marine and terrestrial environments were on display at the event. We had many interesting discussions with visitors about the recording capabilities of the technology we are developing in-house.

Overseeing BRP's exhibits at the CLO Migration Celebration Event

Elephant Listening Project (ELP)

At the Migration Celebration Day event, ELP staff and volunteers (and Jobo!) introduced visitors to the sounds of forest elephants. Visitors were able to learn more about the morphological differences between the three elephant species, hear about ELP’s work in central Africa, and discover how the use of acoustic monitoring has furthered our knowledge on forest elephant behavior and communication.

Sound Games

Many visitors enjoyed the “3D Birding”, “Who Said That”, and “Rumble, Roar, and Trumpet” games we set up. Understanding and recognizing animal sound is the heart of these fun games. The “3D Birding” game uses virtual reality (VR) technology to teach birding by ear skills to the users. It was truly inspiring to see children attempting to meet the challenge of identifying species through sound and to mimic elephant calls.

Making science available to people of all backgrounds

Crafts Corner

Many children and adults enjoyed the crafts corner featuring elephant origami and make-your-own elephant face mask. This was one of the most active stations in the main exhibit area throughout the day.

BRP “Behind the Scene” Workshop

As a part of the day’s celebration, BRP hosted a “Behind the Scene” workshop. In the workshop, we talked about how acoustic monitoring has been used to better understand the Whippoorwills distribution in New York state including observations on how call rates are correlated with the lunar cycle.  Also, we have discussed the impact of anthropogenic noise on animal’s ability to communicate and sense the world around them using data collected from Sapsucker Woods and New Zealand Datasets as examples. Additionally, visitors were able to learn about BRP’s efforts to move big data from thousands of recording units to our scientists and then to archival storage. Workshop participants visited the onsite “engineering shop” and learned more about BRPs recording instruments.

This was a very fun day, both for the visitors and the exhibit hosts alike. “Discovery through Sound” was our theme of the day and we hope all visitors enjoyed the day and will come back next year!

Team BRP at the Migration Celebration Day 2017.