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UCSC Music professor receives patent to help fight bark beetles ravaging Western forests

Very important work coming out of UC Santa Cruz (my alma mater!), and a great example of art and science working together to help save the world, or at least the Western forests (whose existence helps keep the earth cool, so yeah, the world).

​UC Santa Cruz music professor David Dunn listening to bark beetles (Images copyright UCSC and David Dunn)

UC Santa Cruz music professor David Dunn has joined forces with two forest scientists from Northern Arizona University to combat an insect infestation that is killing millions of trees throughout the West.

They are applying the results of nearly a decade of acoustic research in an unconventional collaborative effort to stop bark beetles from tunneling through the living tissue of weakened, drought-stressed pine trees.

The trio has now received a patent for a device that uses sound as a targeted sonic weapon to disrupt the feeding, communication, reproduction, and various other essential behaviors of the insects.

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Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.