Using Sound to Save Species

Jason Wood with elephants
On Saturday, February 21st at 4 p.m. in Fort Worden’s Building 204, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center will hold its annual meeting. Anne Murphy, executive director for the PTMSC will briefly present an organizational perspective, looking backwards and forwards, and then she’ll turn the floor over to guest lecturer, Dr. Jason Wood to present Whales and Elephants: Using Sound to Save Species. Admission is free to PTMSC members, $5 for non-members.

“We’re honored to have Dr. Wood as our keynote speaker for our annual meeting this year,” said Murphy. “His presentation will highlight acoustic communication in African elephants and Southern Resident killer whales while exploring ways in which their sound is important to their survival, how sounds can be used to monitor their populations and how sound humans generate can impact these species.”

Jason Wood received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 2003 where his dissertation focused on the acoustic communication of African elephants. He then spent two years as a post-doctoral scholar at Stanford University in the Geophysics and then Otolaryngology departments where his work focused on seismic communication in elephants and developing a seismic census technique.

Since 2006, Dr. Wood has been a lead instructor for Beam Reach, a marine science and sustainability school, where students earn credits from the University of Washington for conducting their own research on the acoustics of the Southern Resident killer whales.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is devoted to understanding, preserving and teaching about our marine and shoreline environment as guardians for a sustainable future. Located on the beach at Fort Worden State Park, the PTMSC offers two public exhibits: the Marine Exhibit (ME) features large touch pools and aquaria, and the Natural History Exhibit (NHE) highlights the rich zone where land meets sea. The Natural History Exhibit is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for youth and free to PTMSC members. The Marine Exhibit is closed for the season but open by appointment. The PTMSC also offers a wide variety of educational programs and special events. For more information, call 360.385.5582, e-mail or visit

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