breaching humpback whale
Breaching Humpback Whale, source: National Ocean Service Image Gallery

Citizen Scientists Needed to Analyze Whale Calls

Average citizens can now advance marine science from the comfort of their offices, living rooms, favorite coffee shops, or even on the go via their smartphones on the new website The University of St Andrews in Scotland and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts have put together this site and general call for help categorizing the calls of Pilot Whales and Killer Whales from around the world.

The Whale Project is an interactive website where anyone can help match recordings of whale songs with those of others speaking the same whale dialect. The project is part of efforts to study whale behavior and the effect of human activities on whale populations.  The results could inform regulatory processes for use of underwater sonar and ocean shipping lanes.

If love of whales isn’t enough to get you to take part, perhaps you will be compelled by the Wired Science take on the site:

“What we particularly like about is how soothing the whole process is. If you’re having a tough day at work, put your headphones on and take five minutes to match a few whale noises. We guarantee you’ll feel better.”

Not many whale-lovers can get out there on the boats with scientists, but a lot of us have internet access.

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This post was originally published on,©Jennifer Mueller