Welcome to the Colorado State University Listening Lab

The Colorado State University Listening Lab was established in 2013 as a collaboration with the Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division of the National Park Service. The primary goal of the lab is to aid in the preservation and understanding of natural soundscapes by providing a resource to efficiently analyze the thousands of hours of acoustic data collected each year within parks, allowing park officials and scientists to promptly employ effective soundscape management decisions where needed.

The lab typically employs 5 to 10 well-trained undergraduate student listeners to analyze the acoustic data that our NPS Scientists & Research Associates record within national parks around the country. Many of our student listeners are also enrolled in the University Honors Program and use their time in the lab to complete their honors theses. These students have moved beyond basic data analysis and have explored how noise affects the natural world to produce the following theses and presentations:


Undergraduate Honors Theses

      • The effects of human visitation on the behavior and relative abundance of Brandt's cormorants (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) on Alcatraz Island -- Reina Galvan

      • Acoustic analysis of the Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) -- Sean Williams

      • Changes in bioacoustic activity related to wind turbine operation -- Sam Bietsch

      • A comparative analysis of soundscapes: Peru vs. the United States -- Sara Brandenburg

      • Quantifying fine scale foraging behavior using acoustic monitoring of mule deer -- Alex Avrin

      • Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) altered alarm call function in presence of pups -- Grete Wilson-Henjum

      • Evaluation of wildlife acoustic detection methods using camera traps -- Tyler Asnicar

      • Identification and Evaluation of ‘Soundmarks’ in National Parks -- Benjamin Buescher

    • Automating Species Recognition in Acoustic Recordings Using the Template Detector Method -- Louisa Markow

Scientific Presentations

In order to further the impact of their work, several of our students have gone on to present their research at local and national conferences/symposia. Below are a few examples of their scientific outreach:

Meet the Team


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Sharon Martinson

Listening Lab Director - Postdoctoral Fellow



Ava Aguilar

I am a second year from Golden, Colorado majoring in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology with a concentration in Conservation Biology. I have always enjoyed being outdoors and as I got older I started noticing how people affect the environment. I am inspired by people like Jane Goodall and organizations like Greenpeace to put my efforts and time into saving the Earth and the animals that live here with us. I am excited to be working in the Listening Lab, learning new ways to educate people on conservation efforts, and to learn how many different conservation careers there are in my field.


Ethan Hobbs

I'm a second year Wildlife Biology Major from Burlington, Vermont. When I graduate from college, I can't picture myself doing anything other than working in the outdoors to protect the world's biodiversity. I've always been fascinated by nature and consider wildlife to be the best thing our world has to offer, and I enjoy experiencing it though cycling, cross country skiing, and most of all, photography. I'm excited to be a part of the Listening Lab and contribute to the protection of wildlife in our national parks, as well as gain valuable skills for the future. I hope to work in conservation and help people and wildlife live harmoniously alongside each other.


Seth Hibbard

Hello, I am a first generation Junior with a major in Fish Wildlife and Conservation Biology Major from New Hampshire. I am an student parent and adult learner with a passion for wildlife and Indigenizing and decolonizing science. I am interested in working with carnivores and large mammals utilizing wildlife management methods at the ecosystem level. Being a part of the Listening Lab is an exciting opportunity that will help me further my education in acoustic ecology. I feel anthropogenic noise is an often overlooked issue and a threat to the certain ecosystem services that greatly enhance the enjoyment of nature for humans, and is also an important issue for wildlife that rely on auditory perception and communication.


Alex Hey

I’m a third-year double major in Zoology and Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from West Chicago, Illinois. I have always had a great appreciation for the natural world and feel a calling to not only conserve it but generate an increased public perception of wildlife.  I’m interested in everything from species-specific research, human-wildlife interactions, and science communications. I hope to gain research experience and expand my analytical capabilities with my position in the Listening Lab, and plan on using these skills in a conservation-based position after my degree, with eventual hopes in more post-secondary education.

Listening Lab Alumni:

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