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Natural History Education, Science, Technology


All sound files on this site are wav or mp3 files. Sometimes there is conflict between screen-reading software and other sound players. If you have problems hearing the sounds, contact your technical specialist. If you still have problems, Also be sure to let us know of any general access problems. And thanks to our sponsors:

Steve Colman’s annual birdwalk, 2011

Our new translation glossary of medical terms for emergencies. Let us know if it works for you.

Watch this space for full report of events.

Steve Coleman’s Birding By Ear Walk at Fields Pond Nature Center — May 14, 2011; 9 – 11 am

Learn to identify birds by sound. For visually impaired and others interested in sounds of nature

What do we mean by non-visual approaches to science, nature, and technology?

  • Penquis Virtual Nature Center has
    • nature trails and guides to
      1. birds
      2. mammals
      3. frogs
      4. insects, snakes, salamanders, turtles
      5. trees and shrubs (and a key)
      6. climate
      7. geology and geography

      of central Maine.

    • a lecture series covering such topics as maple syrup making and animal sounds.

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One person goes blind every 7 minutes in the United States according to one estimate. Add to this number the new victims throughout the rest of the world and those already blind — including those blind from birth and those with other severe visual impairments — and the totals reach a stunning 160,000,000 according to the World Health Organization.

The development of the personal computer and advances in digitized sound offer a way for blind and low vision persons to find a satisfying hobby in nature study and to contribute to the world in which we live. Even profoundly multiply impaired children are able to benefit from digitized sounds of nature. NHEST, Inc. (Natural History Education Science and Technology) is working to design computer-assisted nature educational/recreational materials for the blind.

Blind and low vision persons are able to operate easily the NHEST computerized bird identification lessons which use bird voice recordings produced by MIST Software Associates. This website is designed for accessibility to screen readers and browsers used by those with visual impairments.

We have presented programs on bird identification at Fields Pond Nature Center of the Maine Audubon Society (located in Orrington) and at the 1999 convention of the American Council of the Blind, and at a number of sites during 2000-2004. This website is seeing an increasing amount of use as blind and low vision nature enthusiasts become aware of its existance. Further development is needed, but we have made great progress. Our programs Fields Pond and other sites to teach the identification of trees using non- visual cues programs demonstrated the feasibility of this approach, and the section on trees (and one on gardening for non-visual aesthetics) on this website has received favorable comment and increasing use.

However, to develop this opportunity further, we need more help. We need donations of money and time. To find out what you can do to help, e-mail us at , call us at 207-327-1453, or write us at:
144 Atkinson Rd
Bradford, ME 04410.

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