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Acoustical Monitoring Research for National Parks and Wilderness Areas

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The natural sonic environment, or soundscape, of parks and wilderness areas is not yet fully characterized in a scientific sense. Published research in the U.S. National Park System is generally based on short-term sound level measurements or visitor response surveys associated with regulatory evaluation of noise intrusions from motorized recreational vehicles, tour aircraft, or nearby industrial activity. This paper reviews the history of soundscape studies in the National Park System and describes several recent advances that will allow automated recording and analysis of long-term audio recordings covering days, weeks, and months at a time.

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