Eric Snyder

Graduate Student

Eric wants to know where the whales are and what they're doing in the wild. He develops methods of tracking whales using passive acoustic hydrophones arrays. The arrays record data for months at a time, allowing us to observe whale behavior in their natural environment over long periods of time. These methods are especially useful for studying species of whales which are seldom seen from ships, like many species of beaked whale.

Eric began the PhD program in the Scripps Whale Acoustics Lab in 2017. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah. When he's not in the lab, Eric enjoys literature, music, and being beaten at Just Dance by his four-year-old son.

My interest in acoustic signal processing was sparked during an undergraduate research project with Dr. Joel Harley, which involved detecting and localizing damage on thin sheets of metal using acoustic vibrations. Whale acoustics has been a fantastic way to combine my interest in acoustics and signal processing with my love of wildlife and conservation.
I'm using the tracking algorithms primarily to study Cuvier's Beaked Whales offshore of Southern California. This region is has frequent and diverse anthropogenic noise sources (like cargo ships and sonar), to which Cuvier's are particularly sensitive. Observing their distribution and behavior is an important step towards understanding how to best protect them from harm.
Eric Snyder


  • B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Utah