Vineyard Wind hires bioacoustician


Vineyard Wind has contracted Christopher Clark, a bioacoustician, as its new senior scientist, according to a press release from the offshore wind company.

Clark has more than 40 years of experience studying the potential influences of manmade sounds on endangered species, specifically with marine mammals. He will help Vineyard Wind protect all marine life, especially the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Clark was the founding director and senior scientist of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s bioacoustics research program from 1987 to 2017. Clark has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers throughout his career.

“Dr. Clark has built an impressive career working with marine mammals and whales for several decades,” Rachel Pachter, chief development officer for Vineyard Wind, said in a press release. “He is highly regarded not only in the Northeast, but throughout the scientific community for his expertise on a variety of marine issues, most notably his pioneering work to design and develop the first passive acoustic monitoring systems, still used to protect North Atlantic right whales near shipping lanes. We are excited to work with Dr. Clark, and look forward to his expertise as we work to responsibly build and operate the first large-scale offshore wind energy project in the U.S.”

Vineyard Wind communications director Brenden Moss told The Times in an email that Vineyard Wind will implement passive acoustic monitoring systems (PAMS) along transit routes to the offshore wind areas. Clark will be relied on throughout construction.

“[Clark] is an expert in PAMS, and will definitely be involved in that implementation,” Moss wrote.