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Acoustics of National Parks and Historic Sites: The 8,760 Hour MP3 File

According to current U.S. National Park Service (NPS) management policies, the natural soundscape of parks and historic sites is a protected resource just like the ecosystems, landscapes, and historic artifacts for which the parks were formed. While several NPS sites have been studied extensively for noise intrusions by tour aircraft and mechanized recreation, most parks and historic sites do not yet have an acoustic baseline for management purposes. A recent initiative of the NPS Natural Sounds Office is to obtain continuous audio recordings of specific sites for one entire year. This paper explores the engineering and scientific issues associated with obtaining, archiving, and cataloging an 8,760 hour long audio recording for Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site.

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