Taking Nature’s Pulse

People have taken delight in nature throughout human history, but more recently the work of the natural historian has become more like that of the scientist. Using methods and tools of science, today’s naturalists can record nature with precision-and through this, learn more about it. Ecologists now pay heed to the often-forgotten sense of hearing. The Tropical Ecology Lab at University of Puerto Rico, San Piedras, blurs the lines between natural history and science. An array of remote microphones collects sounds from the forests and wetlands, and researchers use computers to analyze the soundscapes themselves.


Abi (Nighthill) Knopp

About Abi Nighthill

Abi (Nighthill) Knopp grew up just outside of Portland, Oregon. There, most of her skies were obscured by branches, clouds, or both. After wandering aimlessly around Portland State University for a few years, she moved to Chicago and earned a B.A. in Poetry with a minor in Environmental Studies. Her thesis focused on haiku poetics and the behavior of jumping spiders, and other major works exhumed the science from Emily Dickinson’s works or followed the story of DARPA’s HI-MEMS (cyborg moths) project. Easily seduced, she found herself interested in many facets of the sciences: ocean ecology, cognitive neuroscience, quantum mechanics, botany, cyborgs…how fortunate that she could sate her curiosity through writing. She has since developed and taught a course at Portland State University that explores intersections of science and poetry, and worked on a memoir in hypertext that focuses on uncertainty, poetry, and new media. Thesis: Taking Nature’s Pulse


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