Citizen Science: Acoustic Monitoring

A technician records notes and sets up recording equipment.
A soundscape technician sets up recording equipment and makes notes about the site.

Parks are places where people can escape from manufactured, anthropogenic sounds and listen to natural sounds. Soundscapes are the combination of sounds found in a place—bird songs, flowing water, lapping waves, and yes, the extent to which our human world is present (noise from traffic, planes, and other anthropogenic sounds). Acoustic monitoring can tell us how much anthropogenic sounds are detected in the park and how that changes over time. We can also use our acoustic monitors to gather information about species that might be visually hard to identify. For example, Indian River is an important corridor for local bat populations, so we’re working with Alaska Department of Fish and Game to monitor echolocation calls. We also have a hydrophone deployed underwater to listen to the soundscape of our intertidal zone.

As part of the Summer Field Science School, we will be acoustic monitoring technicians and fully explore and document all the components of our soundscape. Participants will learn how to maintain equipment, download data, and listen to and categorize a variety of sounds captured within the park.

Last updated: May 8, 2018

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103 Monastery St.
Sitka, AK 99835


(907) 747-0110

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