Whales, Dolphins, and Sound

Essay Assignment Project SPA 4011

Each student will write a short (i.e., one page) paper discussing a speech or hearing science related topic and relating it to one or more topics from the class. If you choose your own topic and not a provided topic (see below) then topics must be approved by Dr. Tessel.

This paper is worth 10% of your grade and will be graded on amount and ability to convey relevant information (i.e. completeness), connecting the topic to what we have learned, writing proficiency (no typos, misspellings, etc.), and overall quality. The final paper is due April 19th Papers must be written using APA format for citing your references (see https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ (Links to an external site.) for general format guidelines and https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/03/ (Links to an external site.) for help on how to use in text citations).  .  You do not have to do an actual experiment, but rather give a short report on the topic you choose.

This assignment must be submitted on Canvas. You must cite your references properly. If you use a website, please be sure it is a reputable website. If you are using a topic related to speech-language pathology or audiology you can check asha.org. You can access journals through the FAU library databases or through Google Scholar (you can click on the quotation marks under the reference and find the APA version of the citation).  Wikipedia is NOT an appropriate source for this project.  Make sure you are using appropriate grammar and professional writing.  Please use resources such as the center for excellence in writing https://www.fau.edu/UCEW/Links to an external site. or websites like https://www.grammarly.com/ (Links to an external site.)

Examples of potential paper topics include the following:

  • How does the speech production of children differ from that of adults?
  • How does the speech production of women differ from that of men?
  • How does the vowel or consonant production of a native English speaker differ from that of a non-native speaker (you may want to choose one or two specific sounds)
  • An everyday application of Boyle’s Law or the Bernoulli effect.
  • What are the exact acoustic/articulatory changes that occur when someone speaks English with a foreign accent?
  • Discuss how sound is used by different animals (e.g., bats, whales, etc.)
  • Describe one or two of the scientific or other uses of ultrasound waves
  • Discuss the changes that singers must make to their larynx in order to change their vocal range
  • Discuss how acoustic principles are used to construct concert halls

Of course, there are many other potential topics within the area of speech and hearing science, so feel free to create one that is not on this list.  There are many interesting topics that all under ‘acoustics’ or ‘speech science’ or ‘hearing science.’


Whales, Dolphins, and Sound

The deeper it gets underwater, sound becomes more important, and the light becomes less relevant. For instance, although whales and dolphins communicate in various ways, the main way is through creating sounds. In the air, sound travels at 340m per second compared to 1500m per second in seawater (Cormier, 2021). With sound being around four times faster in water than in air, whales and dolphins make it their main way of communicating.     

Moreover, whales and dolphins are different from other animals on earth because they have evolutionally distinct features that enable them to use sound effectively than all animals on earth. For animals on earth, sound waves travel at an angle through the head but in a straight line for whales and dolphins (Foskolos et al., 2019) …………for help with this assignment contact us via Email Address: consulttutor10@gmail.com

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