She studies how animals communicate

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Colleen McLinn works for the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. She studies how animals use information and communicate with each other. And she uses her knowledge of animal behavior and sounds to help educators teach biology and physics in an interesting way.

“Animal behavior is a fascinating subject with links to many fields. Seeing real-world examples of science in action, in the context of animal behavior, can provide a compelling reason for kids to study fields they might otherwise view as ‘boring’ or ‘too hard.’”

To do that, she taps into the Macaulay Library’s vast collection of animal sounds—more than 170,000 audio recordings from all over the world, including 75% of the world’s bird species and many recordings of insects, fish, frogs, and mammals. Scientists of all kinds use the sound and video collections for basic research, education, conservation, and habitat assessment.