Noise Analysis

Although it cannot be seen, noise has a presence all its own that can affect park resources. Noise colors the experiences of park visitors, wildlife, and entire ecosystems. It can originate from inside and outside park boundaries. Recent studies have found that more than 60% of protected areas are exposed to noise that masks more than half of the natural sounds that would otherwise be heard. This loss of natural sounds detracts from visitors’ enjoyment and interferes with wildlife communication and behavior.

Soundscape research is becoming more important throughout the world as increases in population and technology have introduced damaging sounds into the environment. The objective of the research is to determine the baseline ambient sound levels at strategic locations in Glacier National Park.  The levels, measurements, and data captured by the WPI team will be compared to previous studies (2004) undertaken in the past. Through careful analysis of the data, the team will determine the current state of noise in the park, its causes, and will propose strategies to begin to mitigate and reduce unwanted noise in the park.