Acoustic Ecology
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About Us is the website of the Acoustic Ecology Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. The Acoustic Ecology Institute was founded in 2003 as a spin-off of, a commercial soundscape art catalog. provides access to news, academic research, public policy advocates, and articles and essays about sound and listening. We hope that these diverse threads of information and passion will be of service to policy makers, the media, and interested individuals. Please be in touch with any comments or feedback you may have.

AEI is largely the work of one person, founder Jim Cummings. AEI is not an advocacy organization; it’s an information and resource center, funded by donations from people who value clear information about current science findings and policy options. I am not an engineer or acoustician or scientist. I am an editor and writer who has become comfortable over the past 25 years with reading science journals, in-depth environmental impact statements, and “white” and “grey” literature reports from government agencies, trade organizations, and researchers. My expertise as an editor is in translating and synthesizing complex science and policy for a lay audience.

Since 2004, my work as the sole full-time employee of the Acoustic Ecology Institute has been focused on sound-related environmental issues, especially ocean noise and wind farm noise. Top agency staff, professional organizations, and academic researchers in the US and Canada consider me an honest broker of what is known about these often contentious issues: the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, US Navy, and US Department of Energy have all asked for my participation in expert committees and specialized symposia. I was guest-editor of a special double issue of the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy on ocean noise, and was twice invited to be a plenary speaker at the biannual Alberta oil and gas industry noise control conference.

A sampling of Acoustic Ecology Institute Activities

  • Wrote comprehensive research overview on seismic survey airguns (January 2004) [MORE]
  • Moderated panel on Ocean Noise at the 8th International Wildlife Law Conference (New Orleans, November 2004)
  • Presented soundscape awareness programs in Santa Fe Public Schools (2005)
  • Organized Acoustic Ecology Lecture Series at College of Santa Fe (20042/5 to 2006/7 academic years) [MORE]
  • Participated in the formation of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, 2006. AEI founder Jim Cummings served as ASAE's first President, 2006-2010. [MORE]
  • Guest edited a special Ocean Noise edition of the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy (published in 2007)
  • Member of the curatorial team for Ear to the Earth, a symposium (December 2005) and festival (March 2005) hosted by the EMF in New York. [MORE]
  • Plenary speaker at Alberta oil and gas Spring Noise Conference, 2007 and 2009
  • Invited participant in Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans Science Advisory Committee to assess the effectiveness of seismis survey mitigation measures, 2009
  • Invited speaker at the 2nd International Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life conference in Cork, Ireland, 2010.
  • Invited presenter at DOE-funded New England Wind Energy Education Project webinar on wind farm noise, 2010.

AEI offsets carbon footprint of our website

Carbon offsets, despite the many questions about their ultimate effectiveness, remain a viable way for individuals and companies to at least acknowledge their carbon footprints, while supporting initiatives to increase use of carbon-neutral energy sources. Native Energy is consistently ranked among the most effective of the carbon-offset outfits, thanks to their focus on Renewable Energy Credits, and AEI turned to them for our site-wide carbon offset program.

We purchase carbon offsets from Native Energy to match the carbon used in traveling to conferences (3 tons/year), in our home office (1 ton/year), as well as the carbon used to serve up our website to visitors and the energy used by visitors while viewing our site (250 pounds/year on each end, based on published estimates of 20 milligrams per second of internet use).

This approach is self-monitored, and not a plan offered by Native Energy. For more info on their carbon offset programs, see their website. [VISIT NATIVE ENERGY]

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AEI focuses primarily on science and policy. Click on logos to learn about others working with acoustic ecology in the arts, education, design, health, sociology, and academia


The Sound of Light in Trees: Bark Beetles and the Acoustic Ecology of Pinyon Pines
100% of all sales revenues benefit Acoustic Ecology Institute!

Acoustic Ecology Institute Mission Statement

The Acoustic Ecology Institute works to increase personal and social awareness of our sound environment, through education programs in schools, regional events, and our internationally recognized website,, a comprehensive clearinghouse for information on sound-related environmental issues and scientific research. On public policy questions, we tend toward the precautionary principle (erring on the side of caution while awaiting definitive research). Our over-arching goal is to help find pragmatic ways to bridge the gaps between extreme positions voiced by advocacy-oriented organizations, and so to contribute toward the development of ethical public policies regarding sound.

Meet the Acoustic Ecology Institute Board of Directors and Advisory Council: [GO THERE]


Contact info
Acoustic Ecology Institute
Attn: Jim Cummings
45 Cougar Canyon
Santa Fe, NM 87508
ph 505-913-7150 fax 866-571-0416

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