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The Environmental Humanities Conservatory is a collaboration between VCR-LTER and the UVA Department of Religion and Environmental Resilience Institute that aims to use listening to detect and understand coastal futures. The Conservatory works alongside scientific researchers and experts in ecoacoustics, anthropology, literature, ethics, and history to explore skills that help people interpret the magnitude of anthropogenic environmental change and understand cultural stressors that impede people from developing a sense of responsibility for it.

Overall, their work highlights sound as a new way to experience and understand and develop a deeper appreciation of the sense of self in a changing environment. Listening and soundscape approaches will be incorporated into VCR-LTER graduate student training and research initiatives to complement and deepen ecological observation.

listening conservatory VCR

A researcher collects a sound recording on the Virginia coast as a part of the Environmental Humanities Conservatory’s work on listening and soundscapes.
Credit: Cora Ann Johnston


  • Karen McGlathery, Mike Pace, & Matt Reidenbach, UVA Environmental Science and Environmental Resilience Institute
  • Willis Jenkins, Environmental Ethics
  • Matthew Burtner, Music
  • Institute for Practical Ethics
  • Andrew Kahrl, History
  • Charlotte Rogers, Spanish