Lauren Ferguson

Lauren Ferguson

Assistant Professor
Office: Recreation Management & Policy, Hewitt Hall, Durham, NH 03824

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Recreation Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Over the past several years I have evolved my research program into one that is both applied and interdisciplinary. One line of research that I’m particularly proud of involves soundscape management within national parks. This research agenda began in 2014 with an experimentally designed lab based study that examined the influence of natural sounds on human health and wellbeing. This line continued with a field based study of climbers’ perceptions of soundscapes on the Grand Teton. I was awarded the Boyd Evison Fellowship, as well as, a grant from the University of Wyoming/NPS Research Station to pursue this research. Evidence from this line of research has been conveyed in technical reports, research presentations, and a referred journal article.

My teaching, broadly speaking, focuses on experiential learning and human dimensions of natural resources, with additional expertise in nonprofit organizations, grantsmanship, research design, and law. My approach to teaching emphasizes using hands on learning experiences that are applied, to teach students content and skills which translate into their professional careers.

Courses Taught

  • LAP 501: Life Act Prog/Fly Fishing
  • RMP 511: Iss Wilderness Nature Amer Soc
  • RMP 559: Program and Event Marketing
  • RMP 563: Rec Mgt & Policy Practicum
  • RMP 724: Research and Evaluation
  • RMP 724/824: Research and Evaluation
  • RMP 772/872: Law&Public Policy Leisure Svcs
  • RMP 776/876: Human Dimensions of Nature
  • RMP 824: Research and Evaluation
  • RMP 970: Teaching Practicum
  • RMP 980: Independent Study


  • Ph.D., Recreation, Park & Tourism Management, Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S., Recreation, Park, & Tourism Management, Pennsylvania State University
  • B.S., Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism, Colorado State University

Research Interests

  • Acoustics
  • Ecosystems
  • Environmental Health
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Parks & Recreation Management

Selected Publications

  • Ferguson, L. A., Ferguson, M. D., Rodrigues, K., Evensen, D., Caraynoff, A. R., Persson, K., . . . Eisenhaure, S. (2024). The role of health and wellbeing in shaping local park experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 46, 100739. doi:10.1016/j.jort.2024.100739

  • Ferguson, L. A., Taff, B. D., Blanford, J. I., Mennitt, D. J., Mowen, A. J., Levenhagen, M., . . . Newman, P. (2024). Understanding park visitors' soundscape perception using subjective and objective measurement.. PeerJ, 12, e16592. doi:10.7717/peerj.16592

  • Ferguson, L. A., Newman, P., McKenna, M. F., Betchkal, D. H., Miller, Z. D., Keller, R., . . . Taff, B. D. (2023). How much noise is too much? Methods for identifying thresholds for soundscape quality and ecosystem services. Applied Acoustics, 209, 109388. doi:10.1016/j.apacoust.2023.109388

  • Ferguson, M. D., Lynch, M. L., Evensen, D., Ferguson, L. A., Barcelona, R., Giles, G., & Leberman, M. (2023). The nature of the pandemic: Exploring the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic upon recreation visitor behaviors and experiences in parks and protected areas.. J Outdoor Recreat Tour, 41, 100498. doi:10.1016/j.jort.2022.100498

  • Ferguson, M. D., McIntosh, K., English, D. B. K., Ferguson, L. A., Barcelona, R., Giles, G., . . . Leberman, M. (2022). The Outdoor Renaissance: Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic upon Outdoor Recreation Visitation, Behaviors, and Decision-Making in New England's National Forests. SOCIETY & NATURAL RESOURCES, 35(10), 1063-1082. doi:10.1080/08941920.2022.2055247

  • Ferraro, D. M., Miller, Z. D., Ferguson, L. A., Taff, B. D., Barber, J. R., Newman, P., & Francis, C. D. (2020). The phantom chorus: birdsong boosts human well-being in protected areas. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 287(1941). doi:10.1098/rspb.2020.1811

  • Ferguson, M. D., Lynch, M. L., Miller, Z. D., Ferguson, L. A., & Newman, P. (2020). What do outdoor recreationists think of fracking? Politics, ideology, and perceptions of shale gas energy development in Pennsylvania State Forests. ENERGY RESEARCH & SOCIAL SCIENCE, 62. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2019.101384

  • Miller, Z. D., Ferguson, L. A., Newman, P., Ferguson, M., Tipton, N., Sparrow, V., & Taff, B. D. (2020). Developing visitor thresholds of sound from shale natural gas compressors for motorized and non-motorized recreation users in Pennsylvania State Forests. APPLIED ACOUSTICS, 157. doi:10.1016/j.apacoust.2019.107012

  • Francis, C. D., Newman, P., Taff, B. D., White, C., Monz, C. A., Levenhagen, M., . . . Barber, J. R. (2017). Acoustic environments matter: Synergistic benefits to humans and ecological communities.. J Environ Manage, 203(Pt 1), 245-254. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.07.041

  • Abbott, L. C., Taff, D., Newman, P., Benfield, J. A., & Mowen, A. J. (2016). The Influence of Natural Sounds on Attention Restoration. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 34(3). doi:10.18666/jpra-2016-v34-i3-6893

  • Most Cited Publications