Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE TEK
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The Sound of Science - 05.03.2012

beluga whale
Beluga whale at Mystic Aquarium
This spring, COSEE-TEK has taken the plunge into underwater acoustics with two educational institutes focusing on the engineering and application of low-cost hydrophones. Hydrophones have a number of applications in Oceanography including the study of marine mammal communication of anthropogenic noises in the environment (e.g., outboard engines, commercial vessels, SONAR, seismic air guns, etc.). One institute involved teachers from the American School for the Deaf (ASD) and the other UConn undergraduate students participating in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program in the hands-on building of a simple hydrophone. In order to provide an affordable, accessible do-it-yourself (DIY) hydrophone kit, COSEE-TEK technicians made notable modifications to the original design by Kevin Hardy at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Instructions and a parts list for the new and improved COSEE-TEK DIY hydrophone can be found here.

Teachers and students learned how to use the freely downloadable software “Praat” ( to record and visualize a variety of sounds using their hydrophones during a testing phase. Both groups then had the opportunity for real-world testing of hydrophones – the ASD teachers with belugas in the Arctic Coast exhibit at the Mystic Aquarium and the LSAMP students aboard Project Oceanology’s R/V Envirolab II.

Click here for more information on COSEE-TEK’s Underwater Acoustics Teacher Technology Experience (TTE) with teachers from American School for the Deaf (ASD).

More details to come on our collaboration with UConn undergraduates in biology and engineering, involved with the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program.

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