Hello all,

I am new to recording but have been learning about acousting environmental monitoring for several years now. Covid19 has me wanting to start recording more than ever where I live because the soundscape has changed so dramatically. I grew up and live at Lake Tahoe, USA.

I'm looking for some help to get started.

My research question is very broad and I mostly just want to start recording the soundscapes in a way that can be scientifically valuable as I make comparisons over time. I guess one of my biggest goals is to monitor background noise levels since they are ever increasing with more tourists, more development and a growing population. The most dramatic increases are extremely loud boats, intentionally loud car exhaust systems, motorcycles, honking, and airplane traffic. I'm also interested in things such as how boat noise is affecting the underwater environment such as native zooplankton which is important for restoring the natural aquatic food web.

This year because invasive species boat inspections have closed all boat ramps, there has been no boats on the lake. This has been incredibly wonderful since they contribute to a constant background hum all summer along with very loud noise events. I live half a mile from the lake and the boats can be so loud it's like a garbage truck outside sometimes.

It's very hard to get started in buying equipment or start making recordings because I want some meaningful data standardized that I can use in the future comparisons, such as recording with the same settings and equipment. I'm interested in all sounds and noise monitoring. Anything from simple 24/7 dB data, to high quality audio recordings and species monitoring. Unfortunantly I feel like it might already be too late since things are opening back up but could anyone give me a recommendation on some equipment that I could get and use to start capturing data now to make use of the covid19 shut down?

Is there any standard and protocal I can use to capture background noise levels for example? Even a simple device such as audio moth I could just plug in 24/7 at my house.

Please forgive me if this post is all over the place. Thanks!