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Samantha Cole, Motherboard, asks, “What Will the Outdoors Sound Like in the Future?” Cole, who lives in Brooklyn, starts her piece with a descripton of her solo trip to Joshua Tree, “to get some solitude and silence away from the city, immersed in the quiet of the high desert.” But after spending a sleepless night “on a high-alert adrenaline rush, spinning around in the small bed at every noise that pricked out of the silence,” Cole realized that her ears had adjusted to the quiet.
On her return to the city, she reached out to Kurt Fristrup, chief of the Science and Technology Branch at the National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, which deploys sound monitoring systems at national parks and helps the staff meet their soundscape needs.
What follows is an interesting interview, where Cole and Fristrup talk about “how our ears work in the wild,” human noise pollution’s impact on wildlife, and how the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division is working to make America’s remaining wild spaces less noisy.
And watch this National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division video on soundscapes: