Kurt M Fristrup

Kurt M Fristrup
National Park Service | NPS · Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division , NRSS

About

112
Publications
31,816
Reads
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4,466
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
Colorado State University
January 2005 - present
January 1995 - December 2005
Cornell University

Publications

Publications (112)
Article
Full-text available
Forest management strategies that create spatially diverse fire-caused disturbance outcomes, consistent with historic fire regimes, are a desired condition for fire adapted western United States forests. In this context, the temporal dynamics of forest response to fire can inform the tempo and scale of forest management, including prescribed burnin...
Article
Full-text available
Soundscapes offer rich descriptions of composite acoustic environments. Characterizing marine soundscapes simply through sound levels results in incomplete descriptions, limits the understanding of unique features, and impedes meaningful comparisons. Sources that contribute to sound level metrics shift in time and space with changes in biological p...
Article
Full-text available
Synopsis Global expansion of lighting and noise pollution alters how animals receive and interpret environmental cues. However, we lack a cross-taxon understanding of how animal traits influence species vulnerability to this growing phenomenon. This knowledge is needed to improve the design and implementation of policies that mitigate or reduce sen...
Article
Full-text available
Protected natural areas are not free from noise, especially noise generated by traffic within park boundaries. Natural soundscapes are important for maintaining community structure, providing positive visitor experiences, and increasing visitor support for management actions that reduce impacts on natural resources. To test experimental quieting as...
Preprint
Full-text available
Global expansion of lighting and noise pollution alters how animals receive and interpret environmental cues. Yet we lack a cross-taxon understanding of how animal traits influence species vulnerability to this growing phenomenon. This knowledge is needed to improve the design and implementation of policies that mitigate or reduce sensory pollutant...
Article
Full-text available
Expansion of anthropogenic noise and night lighting across our planet1,2 is of increasing conservation concern3–6. Despite growing knowledge of physiological and behavioural responses to these stimuli from single-species and local-scale studies, whether these pollutants affect fitness is less clear, as is how and why species vary in their sensitivi...
Article
Full-text available
Global expansion of human activities is associated with the introduction of novel stimuli, such as anthropogenic noise, artificial lights and chemical agents. Progress in documenting the ecological effects of sensory pollutants is weakened by sparse knowledge of the mechanisms underlying these effects. This severely limits our capacity to devise mi...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT Soundscapes are comprised of chronic and transient sounds that overlap each other in time and frequency. These sound sources can be of anthropogenic, geological or biological origin. We automatically discriminated and classified sources with an unsupervised learning strategy based on clustering and subsequent training of a...
Article
Full-text available
We present guidance we have developed and adapted through attempts to synthesize and distill the diverse literature documenting wildlife responses to noise into concise support for conservation planning. Our systematic review revealed significant inconsistencies in the use of—and specifications for—acoustic metrics. Studies typically report noise l...
Article
The quality of an acoustical measurement impacts the accuracy of all inferences that rely on the resulting data. While standard sound level meters are well suited for noise studies requiring high precision, their cost, power consumption, and capabilities constrain the scope of application. Alternatively, the wide variety of consumer audio equipment...
Article
U. S. National Parks are justly celebrated for the superlative quality of their scenic and cultural resources. The Grand Canyon Enlargement Act of 1975 identified natural quiet as an important resource and value. These considerations are two motivations for extensive monitoring of acoustic environments in national park units, and development of mod...
Article
U. S. National Parks began actively conserving park acoustic resources decades after U. S. community noise management practices were established. This presented opportunities to benefit from the knowledge acquired in community noise settings and challenges to adapt this knowledge and devise new methods as appropriate for national park settings. Par...
Article
It is difficult and expensive to match the sensitivity of the most sensitive vertebrate ears with off-the-shelf microphones due to the self-noise of the sensor. The extremely small apertures of microelectromechanical microphones create options to use horn waveguides to amplify sound prior to transduction without resulting in an unacceptably narrow...
Article
Anthropogenic noise threatens ecological systems, including the cultural and biodiversity resources in protected areas. Using continental-scale sound models, we found that anthropogenic noise doubled background sound levels in 63% of U.S. protected area units and caused a 10-fold or greater increase in 21%, surpassing levels known to interfere with...
Article
The National Park Service (NPS) has collected long-term sound level measurements from more than 800 sites, using equipment that measures 1 second, 1/3rd octave band levels. One-third octave bands approximate the critical bands for the human auditory system, and the initial motivation for collecting these data was to predict the levels at which inco...
Article
Global increases in environmental noise levels – arising from expansion of human populations, transportation networks, and resource extraction – have catalysed a recent surge of research into the effects of noise on wildlife. Synthesising a coherent understanding of the biological consequences of noise from this literature is challenging. Taxonomic...
Article
Global increases in environmental noise levels arising from expansion ofhuman populations, transportation networks, and resource extraction have catalysed a recent surge of research into the effects of noise on wildlife. Synthesising a coherent understanding of the biological consequences of noise from this literature is challenging. Taxonomic grou...
Article
The self-noise of acoustical sensors limits their capacity to monitor extremely quiet environments and measure the subtle, adventitious cues that animals routinely rely upon. Although primarily used in sound production, horns also can amplify sound prior to transduction by a microphone. Given the small size of microelectromechanical microphones, su...
Article
The scope of environmental acoustic monitoring and rate of data collection are growing rapidly. These increases in the quantity of information have elevated the necessity of detecting anomalous data and the difficulty of doing so. Analysis of contaminated data leads to incorrect results, including biased parameter estimation and flawed model select...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental sound levels represent the cumulative contributions of many types - and possibly an uncountable number - of sound sources. This recommends a statistical approach to modeling. Using 1.5 million hours of acoustical data from hundreds of sites, regression models were built to predict sound levels across the contiguous United States. Thes...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing scientific evidence shows that anthropogenic noise can impact behavioral, demographic, and community-level processes across a range of taxa—presenting a serious conservation challenge. Given the direct link between antipredator behavior and fitness, it is important to explore the impacts of noise on vigilance and flight. To do this, we c...
Presentation
Monitoring at more than 600 sites in National Park Service (NPS) units has shown that noise poses widespread concerns: a contaminant to the physical environment, an infringement on superlative visitor experience, and a sensory burden for wildlife. NPS acoustical data were generalized into maps predicting sound levels for the coterminous U.S. These...
Article
The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) has established a framework through which a variety of environmental metrics will be continuously monitored measured for multiple decades at stations located across the United States. We describe a multiyear project that demonstrates the benefits of continuous acoustic monitoring at NEON sites. By...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Environmental sound levels often represent the cumulative contributions of many types-and possibly an uncountable number-of sound sources necessitating a statistical approach to modeling. Machine learning algorithms have been used to build regression models that predict sound levels across the contiguous United States. These models discern often no...
Presentation
Full-text available
In this talk, we introduce a method that exploits geospatial data to assess the spatially varying health of marine ecological communities and degree of human activity. Noise from shipping, energy development, and other human activity has become a significant component of marine soundscapes, resulting in changes to or loss of habitat and biodiversit...
Presentation
Type 1 sound level measurements and continuous audio recordings were obtained from two sites near the Mesa Wind Project Site (MWPS), 100 m and 1500 m from the nearest turbine. The sites were upwind of the turbines. Unexpectedly, MWPS ceased operating 29 days after this project began; data were collected for an additional 127 days. Contrasts in hour...
Article
Environmental noise is widespread across the United States, the spatial patterns of which are dependent on a complex linkage of environmental and socioeconomic factors. Chronic exposure brings with it adverse consequences to terrestrial organisms; effects on human health and wellbeing include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbance,...
Article
Full-text available
A multiyear project is underway to demonstrate the benefits of incorporating acoustic monitoring into the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). The NEON project seeks to generate data for the study of continental scale phenomena. Acoustic recordings can be used to determine the presence of acoustically active biota without the presence of...
Conference Paper
The National Park Service created models of sound level and night sky conditions for the coterminous U. S. to assess resource conditions in national parks and adjacent landscapes. These models generalize measurements taken from hundreds of sites spanning the range of geographic and ecological conditions found in park units. These data show that mos...
Data
Data S1. PAMGuide.zip - Zipped archive of R and MATLAB codes for PAMGuide.
Article
Full-text available
1. Many organisms depend on sound for communication, predator/prey detection and navigation. The acoustic environment can therefore play an important role in ecosystem dynamics and evolution. A growing number of studies are documenting acoustic habitats and their influences on animal development, behaviour, physiology and spatial ecology, which has...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Anthropogenic noise pollution can have negative effects on a wide range of taxa. Noise propagates far beyond areas of physical disturbance, causing acoustical fragmentation of what may be otherwise suitable habitat. The impacts of noise differ by species, and can manifest in many ways including changes in various behav...
Article
Prey species have to balance their foraging and vigilance behaviour in order to maximize nutritional and energetic intake while avoiding predation. Anthropogenic noise, a ubiquitous form of human disturbance, has the potential to influence antipredator behaviour through its effects on predator detection and perceived risk. Noise might increase perc...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a model that predicts measured sound pressure levels using geospatial features such as topography, climate, hydrology, and anthropogenic activity. The model utilizes RANDOM FOREST, a tree-based machine learning algorithm, which does not incorporate a priori knowledge of source characteristics or propagation mechanics. The respon...
Article
Full-text available
Visual-based research methods are commonly used to provide an empirical basis for formulating evaluative standards related to recreation use levels. Visual research methods applied in this context are subject to several potential measurement biases. This article examines two such potential biases in visual-based recreation research methods: order e...
Article
Full-text available
Because many wildlife habitats, geological processes, and anthropogenic impacts occur on a regional scale, acoustical analyses must encompass a similar extent. Geospatial sound modeling incorporates spatial representations of biological, geophysical, climatic, and anthropogenic factors to assess expected contributions to the existing sound pressure...
Presentation
The Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division of the U.S. National Park Service has collected month-long acoustic recordings at more than 300 sites in 73 park units located throughout the United States, dating back to 2000. Each monitoring session lasted 25 days or more; some sites were monitored more than once. At all sites a calibrated Sound Level...
Article
Full-text available
Noise emanating from human activity has become a common addition to natural soundscapes and has the potential to harm wildlife and erode human enjoyment of nature. In particular, motor vehicles traveling along roads and trails produce high levels of both chronic and intermittent noise, eliciting varied responses from a wide range of animal species....
Article
Full-text available
Audio recordings made from free-ranging animals can be used to investigate aspects of physiology, behavior, and ecology through acoustic signal processing. On-animal acoustical monitoring applications allow continuous remote data collection, and can serve to address questions across temporal and spatial scales. We report on the design of an inexpen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Local acoustical conditions measured by ANSI type 1 sound level meters are influenced by events and processes ranging from soft animal vocalizations at 10 meter scales to thunder and transportation noise at 10-100 km scales. Because many wildlife habitats, geological processes, and anthropogenic impacts occur on a regional scale, acoustical analyse...
Article
There has been much effort in the US and worldwide to measure, understand and manage natural soundscapes which are often complex due to a multitude of biological, geophysical, and anthropogenic influences. The sound pressure level is a time and space varying quantity that represents the aggregate of present sources. This work presents a predictive...
Article
Several laws and derived policy direct the National Park Service to conserve and restore acoustic resources unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. The Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division has collected acoustical and related meteorological data at more than 300 sites in over 60 park units spanning the coterminous U. S., with additio...
Article
Animals, like humans, frequently communicate using long-range acoustic signals in networks of several individuals. In socially and acoustically complex environments, however, communication is characterized by a variety of perceptual challenges that animals strive to overcome in order to interact successfully with conspecifics. Species differences i...
Article
This draft standard is a joint work effort of S3/SC1, the animal bioacoustics committee, and S12, the noise committee. The draft standard includes 3 major, distinct components: (1) a method to measure the background using unattended instruments, and based on L-levels with L-90 as the default; (2) a definition for ANS-weighted sound pressure level,...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of anthropogenic noise on terrestrial wildlife is a relatively new area of study with broad ranging management implications. Noise has been identified as a disturbance that has the potential to induce behavioral responses in animals similar to those associated with predation risk. This study investigated potential impacts of a variety of...
Article
Full-text available
Autonomous acoustical monitoring is an emerging tool for terrestrial studies of ecology and animal behavior, and compelling results will be forthcoming as systems improve and researchers become familiar with their features and idiosyncrasies.
Article
Researchers and protected area managers' are working together to protect natural soundscapes in U.S. National Parks. In this paper, soundscapes have been defined as the total acoustics environment and includes the sounds of nature and as well as anthropogenic noise (unwanted sounds). In particular, human-caused noise can mask the sounds of nature a...
Article
Throughout the United States, opportunities to experience noise-free intervals are disappearing. Rapidly increasing energy development, infrastructure expansion, and urbanization continue to fragment the acoustical landscape. Within this context, the National Park Service endeavors to protect acoustical resources because they are essential to park...
Article
Full-text available
The extensive literature documenting the ecological effects of roads has repeatedly implicated noise as one of the causal factors. Recent studies of wildlife responses to noise have decisively identified changes in animal behaviors and spatial distributions that are caused by noise. Collectively, this research suggests that spatial extent and inten...
Article
Successful acoustical monitoring for threatened or endangered species must surmount challenges of adequate spatial and temporal coverage in the data collection phase, and efficient and effective processing in the data analysis phase. For terrestrial environments, a diverse array of digital recording options has relaxed the difficulty of obtaining s...
Article
An emerging paradigm in wildlife conservation holds that ecological knowledge is but one of several dimensions that must be addressed to realize successful outcomes. Human factors-history, culture, economics, and mechanisms for decision and implementation-must be taken into account to devise effective solutions. Addressing these factors demands sys...
Article
For generations, skilled naturalists have listened attentively to expand the scope of their field searches and surveys. The rapid proliferation of digital audio recorders with large storage capacity and low power consumption offers numerous options to pursue standardized acoustical surveys of several weeks duration across large areas. This presenta...
Article
Noise is probably the fastest growing pollutant in the United States. Traffic levels for many forms of transportation and recreation are increasing in much faster rates than population size. The consequences of chronic noise exposure for natural ecosystems are numerous and potentially severe. Decreases in pairing success, recruitment, population de...
Article
Noisemodeling of complex management scenarios spanning large areas requires many days of processing time. To enable a rapid, iterative process for formulating and evaluating management alternatives, the NPS Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division and the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center developed methods to separate noisemodelin...
Article
Acoustical conditions in National Parks encompass some of the quietest outdoor conditions ever measured, powerful natural sounds, dense aggregations of visitors, and high traffic roads. Most sites exhibit strong seasonality in natural conditions and visitation. Accordingly, the National Park Service has developed monitoring systems that can accommo...
Article
Historical community noise studies focused on exposures corresponding to maximum tolerable annoyance and potential health risks. These criteria should rarely be pertinent for National Parks, but applicable knowledge and tools were developed by these studies. A‐weighted measurements integrate sound energy across the audible spectrum to account for p...
Article
Full-text available
Noise impacts resources and visitor experience in many protected natural areas, and visitors can be the dominant source of noise. This experimental study tested the efficacy and acceptability of signs asking visitors to be quiet at Muir Woods National Monument, California. Signs declaring a "quiet zone" (at the park's Cathedral Grove) or a "quiet d...
Article
Many protected natural areas are chronically exposed to noise. Noise exposure grows faster than the human populations whose activities generate noise. Data accumulate regarding masked hearing performance in animals, which can be coupled with models of sound propagation to predict reductions in the spatial extent of auditory awareness with elevated...
Article
Spectrogram correlation has been widely used to detect animal sounds. Effective application of this method to identify Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapillus) sounds in 22 000 h of environmental recordings required the use of multiple spectrogram templates for each general type of sound to ensure that substantial subsets of these sounds were not mi...
Article
Full-text available
We compare the status of regional or ecosystem frameworks for managing airborne and underwater noise sources in the US, with particular emphasis on transportation noise in national marine sanctuaries and national parks. The Organic Act demands that the US National Park Service (NPS) preserve natural and cultural resources unimpaired for future gene...
Article
Full-text available
This project developed acoustical systems for monitoring of wildlife sounds over large areas where access is limited. These systems were tested at Fort Hood, Texas, where Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos are managed intensively. A balloon system was designed to carry digital audio recorders across inaccessible areas. Horn-loaded micr...
Article
Growth in transportation networks, resource extraction, motorized recreation and urban development is responsible for chronic noise exposure in most terrestrial areas, including remote wilderness sites. Increased noise levels reduce the distance and area over which acoustic signals can be perceived by animals. Here, we review a broad range of findi...
Article
Full-text available
A method for tracking animals using a terrestrial system similar to GPS is presented. This system enables simultaneous tracking of thousands of animals with transmitters that are lighter, longer lasting, more accurate and cheaper than other automatic positioning tags. The technical details of this system are discussed and the results of a prototype...
Article
Acoustical monitoring data have been collected for more tha