An exploration of the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest through sound. Hosted by Ted Alvarez
In 2005, Gordon Hempton made a single spot within the Hoh Rain Forest famous for its serenity. But now it’s noisier than ever.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Olympic National Park offers a smorgasbord of ecosystems: rocky peaks, driftwood-strewn beaches and high-mountain meadows filled with wildflowers and bears. But its rain-fed temperate rain forests host some of the biggest trees in the world.
The Hoh Rain Forest captured audio ecologist Hempton’s imagination for its serene quiet, free from the intrusion of human noise. For decades, he has recorded the birdsong, bugling elk and pitter-patter of rain in painstaking detail. He’s even declared one small section “One Square Inch of Silence” as a monument to preserve the natural soundscape of Olympic National Park.
But in the decades since, air traffic over the Olympic Peninsula has made that square inch louder, not quieter — with the Navy’s “Growler” fighter jets providing the biggest obstacle. In this episode of Crosscut Escapes, Hempton and fellow bioacoustic ecologist Lauren Kuehne join us on a trip deep into the forest in search of silence.
Host: Ted Alvarez
Engineering: Karalyn Smith, Piranha Partners
Music: The Explorist
Mt. Rainier’s roiling innards make constant noise — and by listening, geologists can tell what kind of mood it's in.
Looming on the horizon like a holographic ice cream cone (when we can see it), Mt. Rainier draws eyes skyward everywhere in Puget Sound. But fear mingles with our fascination: Is it going to blow? And if so, when?
Thankfully, ‘The Mountain’ is one of the most monitored volcanoes in the world, and geologists can decode what’s happening with Rainier in part by isolating the unique sounds coming from within. Their findings can tell us when we should worry — but they also reveal that our entire region vibrates with an eerie music all its own.
For this week’s episode, we’re joined on our trek to the edge of glaciers and deep within the rock by Kate Allstadt, of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Harold Tobin, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.
Host: Ted Alvarez
Music/mixing: The Explorist
Crosscut Escapes Trailer
Coming January 5, 2021. Crosscut Escapes asks big questions about what makes the region tick — and visits the wildest, most unique places to find answers.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well produced and edited!
Intelligent, great editing and production. I did not look at the timer once (editing). Great start and I look forward to more.