Extinction events, Time and Evolution
Pacific Ocean surf ambi
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
28 Mar 1995
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI); Naos Island Laboratories
- 8.91771 -79.53372
- :04 - 18:17
- Panama City
- 8.98333 -79.51667
- 18:29 - 26:11
- SONY TCD-D7
- Sennheiser MKH 40
- Sennheiser MKH 30
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo; Sennheiser MKH40 Cardioid Mid Mic and MKH30 Bidirectional Side Mic
DAT # 9
March 28, 1995
LOG: @ THE STRI LAB WITH JEREMY JACKSON, END OF INTERVIEW
ac: i believe something like that is true for many people who investigate things, possibly for the scientists at STRI. um, but when you go back in your study, and you find an event like the isthmus of Panama coming up, and you find that biodiversity is, after a million years, dealt a catastrophic blow and then you subsequently find that in the overall balance of biodiversity it's not a catastrophic blow, that life responds. isn't the lesson from that -it doesn't really matter what we do because life endures. life goes on. and so the people who say you know, the hell with the environment, just -we really are not creating much of an effect ¬let's just go on do what you want to do and the heck with it. do your studies in some way support that conclusion?
1:22 jj: no. what they do support is that certainly change is not new to people. environments have always changed. organisms have always changed in response to those changes. nothing is permanent in the pattern of life on earth, just as nothing is permanent in anything else. but the reason the answer is no is that even the geological instant of that turnover for example, if it were only 200,000 years or even less, is an extraordinary long time in terms of the numbers of generations of organisms that were effected by that change, or that experienced that event. and therefore,
2:08 -> one can argue that not only is there time for destruction but there is also time for creation and that the reason diversity did not decline during that turnover, or even if it did decline, didn't decline nearly as much as it would of based only on the amount of extinction, is that clearly some how there was sufficient time for new species to evolve. in other words, a turnover event is a destructive and a creative aspect of evolution -both combined. and it's hard to imagine that changes in environments of equal magnitudes or perhaps of even greater magnitude effected in only a decade or even a century or two centuries could even begin to allow the time for the creative aspect of evolution; the origin of new taxa. that's -i can't imagine the most rabid punctuated evolutionist proposing for a second that entire faunas could be created in two hundred years. so what's different about human environmental disturbance as opposed to natural environment disturbance, at least in my mind, is the fact that it is so extraordinarily rapid by the standards of geological time that there is almost certainly no time for organisms to respond in a creative way. and so what you get is the destruction with out the origin of new species to take their place. ok? ............ (3:55 with some blank)
OTHER SOUNDS TO RECORD? MAYBE THE SOUND OF INPUTTING INFO INTO THE DATABASE
4:24 looking for other sounds -jj: we could do a game ...remember how i was telling you bout how the methods haven't changed -you still go for long walks, you still collect bags of dirt, you still pass 'em through sieves, what's different is this -in all of biodiversity research really, what's new is that -not the fancy ships and all of the ships and all of the stuff that they will try and blow you mind away with -it's the data information processing. the fact that one can even begin to handle hundreds and thousand of pieces of information about several thousand different things in hundred different places and 20 different environmental circumstances.
5:22 ac: ask a question that you would normally ask -because i don't even know enough to ask a question ¬
5:28 jj: ok, Jay Schneider wants to know how many carded (?) bivalved we've collected so far ....
*5:38-5:44 ambi: typing the info on the computer key board...
5:44 jj: so, you see what she is doing, she is indexing the data base on the family, and then they are reviewing -that's reviewing the hundred thousand or so records of taxa that have been entered so far, and then asking ¬
*6:00-6:03 ambi: typing info on the computer key board
6:04 jj: you can't spell
*6:08-6:11 ambi: typing info on the computer key board
6:16 jj: so, there are a 137 different kinds of -samples that have them. she could then go and ask how many there were; we could sit here all day; she could ask how many taxa had been identified in that group; we could ask how many are known from costa rica; how many are known from the Caribbean coast; or the pacific coast, etc., etc.
6:38 ac: these are records of samples ¬
assistant: locally collected
ac: but this is the Panama paleontological project
assistant: and this is only the Caribbean section
jj: and only the molluscan data
6:56 ac: how many other places on earth are studied this well?
7:01 jj: the only places that are studied this well -in the sea -that are studied this well -is a huge area, the deep sea, because of the deep sea drilling program. the deep sea drilling program is really the model we followed, but that's -ah -i wouldn't want to guess how much money is spent -perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars. perhaps a billion dollars over 20 years and the driving force for that project was to understand the motion of the ocean crust and what have you, and how the earth works and telling time in that and record of life in that was really basic. i know no other project which is attempting to bring to bear so much information of different sorts on a fixed region in the oceans. there are comparable projects for let's say the flora of central America and things like that. but this is the revolution that's occurring in biodiversity research of being able to collect these kinds of data and manage them in a useful format. the equivalent of this before would be a 100,000 index cards that somebody would have to go through and pick out and every time you wanted to ask a different question like say Jamaica as a place, or Pleistocene as a time you would have to go through those cards again, again, and again. and so what modern data base management has given us is the opportunity to get the answers just to our accounting questions in seconds rather than in weeks. so i can come in every morning and say tell me this, this, this, and this, a list of things and have an answer by the time i am drinking my second cup of coffee in the morning. and then i can think about what i want to do with it, that way. it's a wonderful tool, and it's very routine. we not rich. this is basic equipment nothing fancy.
FINISHED........... (with the jj interview)
9:35 ac: it's just impossible to translate that onto radio -the complex wall to wall chart ¬
9:49 leo: outside of STRI marine lab -MS SENNHEISER 40 & 30 -looking at the ocean, there is a road between me and water samplings form the lab
***10:19 water running [great strong bird call on 00:19 -00:22, and then again 00:24-00:27, and then on 00:44]
***11:07 GREAT SCREECH of a bird?
11:06-11:40 lots of birds screeching
12:02-12:09 great 12:10 a human voice over the PA system
12:10-12:28 NG human voices and footsteps
12:32-12:36 car drives by -interesting mixture of the natural ocean sounds and the car ...but he car sound is faint, not strong
12:37-13:01 not as good as the other ambi -don't use
13:06-13:10 car drives by -this car sound is stronger
13:13-13:23 NG, footsteps
13:23-14:00 in the middle of the forest, by the water, there is a research lab -STRI -use faint sounds of people talking, car driving by, screeching of the bird
14:08 leo finishes -carolyn comes by to bring him to another area to record the ocean sound...........
GREAT PACIFIC OCEAN FX:
by alamour island
14:55 big, strong wave
15:12-15:13 strong wave
16:13 wind picks up a little bit 16:28-16:33 bird calling in the background, with the ocean waves crashing -18:14-18:40 NG
AMBI IN FRONT OF THE HOTEL
18:41 -26:07 VG 19:22 -car honking horn G 19:22-19:41
25:15-25:16 good car horn sound