Book Sponsorship: The Voices of Whales: William E. Schevill and William A. Watkins: Pioneers of Marine Mammal Bioacoustics


 Support the Museum’s upcoming publication on William E. Schevill and William A. Watkins. While there are numerous publications on whale vocalizations and current threats to overall ocean ecosystems health in regards to noise pollution and other acoustical impacts, none focus specifically on the remarkable contributions of Watkins and Schevill. Using these two scientists and their work as the focal point, this book project will not only fill a significant gap in scholarship but also explore the connections Watkins and Schevill bridged amongst various institutions, from Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, for which Schevill acted as Curator, to the US Navy, to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and now to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Representatives from each partner institution, as well experts in the field and NBWM staff will contribute chapters to the publication. The publication will speak to the themes of the scientific trajectory of bioacoustics based on the Watkins and Schevill collections to current technologies and methodologies, including recording and tagging instruments; Watkins and Schevill’s influence and legacy; institutional histories, their respective contributions to the field, and their current roles as resources for conservation and research; and collections histories and descriptions from NBWM, including the conservation and digitization of the Watkins Schevill material. It will answer the questions: why were these men so important; how did they give a voice to marine mammals, launching the marine mammal conservation movement; and how did they inspire and inform generations of bioacoustics scientists; and how is their work still relevant?

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