Technology meets nature to reveal hope for the future


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CSIRO scientists demonstrate to council officers and members of the public how to affix satellite tracking collars onto flying-foxes.

Educator, naturalist, environmental thinker and one of Australia’s best-known nature sound recordists, Andrew Skeoch, is a deep listener… not just of humans, but more so of birdsong, frog choruses, summer cicadas, and other wildlife calls.

Mr Skeoch will reveal both his practical and deep listening skills in a keynote presentation at the Doonan Open Data Expo on Friday, June 21 at the Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve.

He finds that spectacular recordings and visual analysis together demonstrate how sound can open our understanding of the nature that surrounds us.

“Listening is such a personal way of being present in nature,” Mr Skeoch said.

“Whether we listen to understand or for the simple enjoyment of hearing beauty, the natural soundscape enriches our lives.

“In listening, we can find new ways of valuing the natural world.”

Enriching our understanding and values of our environment is the goal of the Doonan Open Data Expo, as is highlighting the many uses of modern technology in discovering, surveying, and managing nature.

The inaugural zero-waste Expo will see keynote speakers, exhibitors, and workshop leaders showcase innovative techniques and mechanisms that assist in connecting with, caring for and restoring our environment.

Division 9 Councillor Stephen Robinson is looking forward to experiencing the virtual reality tour of the reserve.

“It’s going to be fascinating to witness the impossible-to-access spots within Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve,” Cr Robinson said.

“By using this modern technology, our Environmental Operations officers can assess and manage areas of our beautiful reserves across the region that would have otherwise been overlooked.”

Environmental Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay echoed Cr Robinson’s enthusiasm for the event.

“I’m so excited about how our community is innovating new ways to care for our natural assets, and prepare for the future,” Cr McKay said.

“Our native species of flora and fauna are being given a better chance thanks to businesses and community groups, and our very own council, working together to educate, innovate, and protect.

“Technology is one platform we can use to prevent and solve some of our environmental issues and to create a sense of hope for our environment’s future.”

This hope will be reinvigorated as Expo attendees experience the wonders of local wildlife and discover new ideas through multi-disciplinary collaborations of art, science, indigenous culture and citizen knowledge.

For more information and to register for the Doonan Open Data Expo, please visit council’s Events webpage:

Andrew Skeoch uses audio recording equipment to capture one of his natural soundscapes.

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