Hearing the Prairie How do we measure the prairie? In a landscape some plants are very easy to see, others are hidden. If we want to communicate a landscape to someone who is not here, how do we translate every component? If we pull a tape measure across the land and write down each plant in order,we have a linear map of the prairie (called a transect). But what does this tell us? Do we add up species? What percent of each? Does knowing the landscape is 7% grasses, 2% flowers (forbs), 10% sagebrush, and 12% bare soil allow us to make wise decisions? An ecologist and musician want to convey plant arrangements in the sagebrush steppe to hear patterns in landscapes that numbers may not convey. We ask—does sound translate prairie patterns that we cannot otherwise sense? In HearingtheSagebrushSteppe,etched tiles are displayed that represent plants and other items encountered (cowpies, bare ground) on transects in the western landscape.The viewer is asked to select and order tiles to reflect a prairie. When the arrangement is matched to the labels on the toy piano, the viewer can play the prairie. In Play the Prairie, the punched strips provided are line transects of different Ucross locations. Each strip is a translation of the plants’ “arrangements.”The viewer is asked to play a strip in the hand-cranked music box and listen to the landscapes. What patterns can be heard? Anne M. Guzzo & Ann L. Hild Hearing the Sagebrush Steppe Anne M. Guzzo & Ann L. Hild Schoenhut Toy Piano, Pine, Melamine, Aged Pine, Poplar 2016 Play the Prairie Anne M. Guzzo & Ann L. Hild Teanola Musical Player, Aged Pine, Image, Poplar, Punched Plastic 2016