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Sept. 15, 2022

Dr. Leila Hatch, Research Ecologist at the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Dr. Leila Hatch, Research Ecologist at the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
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In this episode of the Outdoor Adventure Series, we continue to celebrate the National Marine Sanctuaries' 50th year of ocean conservation and stewardship.

Our guest today is Dr. Leila Hatch.

Leila Hatch is a Research Ecologist at the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries' Science and Heritage Division. She coordinates NOAA’s efforts to monitor underwater sound across the sanctuary system and apply that information to protect these special places better.

Topics We Discussed 

  1. Why is sound important to animals underwater?
  2. What can underwater sound tell us that we can use to make better decisions offshore? 
  3. Is it all about reducing the noise people make, or are there other ways that sound information can help us protect animals and their habitats?

Aha Moment

Our large-scale projects have had some gratifying high visibility moments generating opportunities in Emmy-winning films and media to reach many people and further engage them in the importance of sound underwater. However, the aha moments are usually much smaller in scale. For me, they are when I get to work with individual people, typically younger than me, who show me that people are becoming more aware of the needs of other animals.


"In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught." (Baba Dioum, 1968.)

Media & Resources

Underwater Sound in National Marine Sanctuaries -- https://time.com/5936110/underwater-noise-pollution-report/

Listening to the (Not So) Silent World -- https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/news/feb21/sanctsound-overview.html

Sanctuary Sound Web Portal -- https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/monitoring/sound/

Eavesdropping on Whales -- https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/news/feb21/eavesdropping-on-whales.html

Next Steps 

To learn more about the National Marine Sanctuaries, visit their website at https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/

To learn more about the work that Leila and her team are working on, visit their page on the Sanctuaries' Website:  https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/monitoring/sound/

Click here to learn more about the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

The Outdoor Adventure Series is a podcast production of Fox Coaching, Inc.