She Collects Sounds Inside Yellowstone National Park For You To Listen To

Feb 2, 2016

Jennifer Jerrett recording sound for Yellowstone Collections at Mammoth Terraces.
Credit NPS/Neal Herbert

Many of the natural sounds of Yellowstone National Park are available for on-line listening thanks to the work of audio producer Jennifer Jerrett.

The growing Yellowstone Collection that was launched today by Yellowstone Park and the Acoustic Atlas at Montana State University.

Jennifer Jerrett says it’s hard to chose which sounds of Yellowstone she finds the most memorable.

She said the Fountain Paint Pots immediately come to mind.

“That one for me is amazing," said Jerrett.

"I could easily stand there for 20 minutes and kind of turn my mind off and just kind of let that sound fill me up. It’s almost like a meditation.”

The bubbling mud pots are found in Yellowstone Park’s Lower Geyser Basin.

“It’s so layered and complex. There’s so much going on,” said Jerrett.

Jerrett says she also loves the sound of the Wilson’s Snipe in the springtime.

Those are just two of the sounds Jerrett recorded as part of her Yellowstone Collection project. While it creates a new way for visitors to experience the park’s landscapes and animals, it also documents moments in time.

“You know these sounds might go away,” she says. “Our landscapes are changing, our soundscapes are changing. You know things like climate change, habitat loss, even just the presence of people in the park changes the acoustic environment.”

And all of those visitors present an interesting challenge.

“Yellowstone is a noisy place,” Jerrett said. “It’s kinda like there are two Yellowstones. When you are way deep in the backcountry that kinda beautiful, pure clean natural sound is reality. But when you’re in the front country and you are close to the roads it’s a really different experience.”

At the same time, Jarrett says the people and the noises of human activity are part of the Yellowstone experience. She said she plans on documenting some of that this year on the project.

Visitors can listen to the Yellowstone collection: or