Sound and Light Ecology Team

CSU Faculty

Dr. Lisa Angeloni

picture of Dr. Lisa Angeloni

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University and serve as one of the Principal Investigators on the CSU/NPS Sound and Light Ecology Team. In addition to focusing on basic questions about the evolution of animal behavior, my research examines the impacts of human disturbance, including noise and light pollution, on wildlife behavior.

Dr. Kevin Crooks

picture of Dr. Kevin Crooks

I am a Professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University and serve as one of the Principal Investigators on the CSU/NPS Sound and Light Ecology Team. My research examines the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on the natural world.

Dr. George Wittemyer

picture of Dr. George Wittemyer

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and serve as one of the Principal Investigators on the CSU/NPS Sound and Light Ecology Team. My research group focuses on characterizing and resolving human impacts on wildlife and their ecosystems.

Dr. Sarah Reed

picture of Dr. Sarah Reed

I am an associate conservation scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society and a faculty affiliate in the department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University. My research group employs landscape-level field experiments, spatial modeling, and social science to investigate the effects of land development and human activities on wildlife and biodiversity, and I work regularly with communities and government agencies to apply ecological science to conservation planning and land-use policy. My role in our team is to co-advise graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, develop methods for monitoring and modeling human activities using acoustic data, and facilitate collaborations with WCS and other non-profit conservation organizations.

NPS Scientists

Davyd Betchkal

I joined the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division after five years as a Soundscape Technician at Denali National Park and Preserve. I am tasked with preserving the acoustic and photic resources of the Alaska region parks through science, planning, and outreach.

Emma Brown, M.S.

I am an Acoustical Resource Specialist at the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division. I coordinate the measurement of acoustic conditions in National Parks, as well as analysis and reporting for these data. My favorite natural sound is the 'U'au (Hawaiian petrel).

Dr. Kurt Fristrup

I am the Branch Chief for Science and Technology in the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division of Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, a directorate within the U. S. National Park Service. I have overseen monitoring of acoustical conditions at more than 600 sites in national parks and other protected natural areas. I previously worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, where my research interests included evolutionary theory, marine mammal ecology and behavior, the effects of noise on wildlife, environmental acoustical monitoring, and wildlife radio telemetry.

Damon Joyce

I am a Physical Scientist with the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division. I develop hardware and software to collect acoustic data in National Parks, and work with other parks to help them conduct their own monitoring.

Scott McFarland

I work for the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division as a Biologist and Regional Resource Specialist. I provide resource expertise and conduct research on night skies and acoustics for National Park Units in the Southeast Region, as well as the National Capitol Region.

Dr. Megan McKenna

I am an acoustic biologist with the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division. I work with a diversity of partners to understand the effects of noise on the natural world- both to assist parks with management of acoustic resources and advance our scientific understanding. I am also interested in using novel acoustic techniques to understand ecological processes in both terrestrial and aquatic systems.

Dr. Dan Mennitt

I am a research scientist in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University. I work in partnership with the National Park Service's Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division to provide outstanding opportunities for people to experience the restorative quality, extraordinary sounds, and simply remarkable nature of wilderness. My current research interests include spatiotemporal patterns of sound on landscape scales, acoustic scattering, and data analytics.

Katie Nuessly, M.S.

I work as an Ecologist with the NPS Natural Sounds and Night Skies Team. I use computer models to study how noise pollution affects national park visitors and wildlife. Noise models generate complex results that include multiple metrics, making it difficult to directly apply to land management actions. Therefore, I also develop science communication products, like infographics, to effectively communicate the important results relevant to management alternatives.

Ashley Pipkin, M.S.

I am a Resource Specialist for the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division for the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service. I am responsible for synthesizing soundscape and photic data in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. My favorite natural sounds come from mountain streams and the accompanying life that surrounds them.

Research Associates

Chris Garsha

I am a research engineer providing instrumentation design, project management, and field support to our team. My scientific and engineering interests revolve around the advancement of technology-based data collection and analysis methodologies, with a particular focus on bio-acoustics, passive acoustic monitoring, ecological instrumentation design and development, and remote systems engineering. I especially enjoy progressing science through the mentoring of undergraduates and facilitation of graduate work.

Dr. Jacob Job

My work with the research group is quite diverse. I manage the Listening Lab and help those students design, conduct, and write up their honors research projects. I am also involved in developing science outreach programs for the research group and have recently established a partnership with Yellowstone National Park to teach undergradutes the ins and outs of science communication through radio-style stories. Finally, I travel to different parts of the country to gather high quality audio recordings of vocalizing animals, as well as entire soundscapes.

Julie West

As a communications specialist with the National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, I create and curate web stories, video, photographs, publications and other media content that profile the value of dark, starry nights and spectrum of sounds unique to NPS units, and the work of NPS and CSU in protecting these resources from the impacts of light pollution and noise. I also assist with strategic planning for communications messaging and products.

Jeremy White, M.S.

I am a Physical Scientist with Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division. My main focus within the division is night sky quality assessments in parks, instrument development and calibration for sky brightness measurements, and assisting parks with planning documents related to night sky resource protection.

Jarrod Zacher

I received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University in 2009. Currently, I am working towards a second Bachelors degree in Computer Science. My main role with the team is assisting with the development of hardware and software for custom microcontroller and FPGA based systems. Some of my hobbies include bicycling, angling, and playing Shogi (Japanese chess).

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Rachel Buxton

I am a postdoctoral research fellow at Colorado State University, looking at the effects of anthropogenic noise on wildlife in National Parks and protected areas around the US. I’m interested in the connection between conservation biology and acoustic ecology, while striving to provide research that informs conservation and restoration management. My projects focus on examining impacts from oil and gas development and how animals and soundscapes recover from anthropogenic noise, as well as exploring the impact of noise on wildlife and visitor experience within US National Parks.

Dr. Alexander "Sasha" Keyel

I am studying the impacts of noise on wildlife. I look at noise from different sources, such as from recreational activities, traffic and nearby energy development, and simulate how that noise spreads through a landscape using computer models.

Dr. Brett Seymoure

I am a sensory and behavioral ecologist with a research focus on how the environment has shaped vision and visually-guided behavior in animals. My research will examine how artificial light at night affects wildlife behaviorally, physiologically, and ecologically. I will explore these effects using spectroradiometry, electrophysiology, survival analysis, behavioral assays, and mesocosm experiments. If you are an undergraduate interested in studying how artificial lighting affects and alters wildlife and/or what conservation strategies can be used to mitigate the affects of artificial light, please contact me.

Graduate Students

Casey Lee

I'm broadly interested in the effects of land use and habitat fragmentation on wildlife behavior. Here at CSU, I work with the the Sound and Light Ecology Team and the Angeloni, Wittemyer, and Crooks labs to understand the impacts of noise on black-tailed prairie dogs. I'm also interested in spatial and simulation modeling, habitat assessment methodologies, science education, and the perceptions and politics of science. My fascination with sound extends beyond research. I enjoy audio engineering and battling my nefarious alter ego, a classically-trained fiddle player who flirts with mandolin, guitar, and old-timey sensibilities.

If you are interested in joining our team as a graduate scientist, please contact one of the CSU faculty team members via their personal website.

Undergraduate Students

To find out who is part of our undergraduate team, please visit our CSU Listening Lab page.


For information about our former team members, please visit our Alumni page.

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