3-nights / 2 days (lunches included; breakfast, dinner and lodging is on your own)
Dates: Friday thru Sunday 26-28 June 2020
Thursday night class begins with an informal, optional, trip to an area bat roost to view the sunset emergence and begin the discussion about backyard bat watching and conservation. We will also demo bat detectors, camera systems to view bats and other nighttime wildlife, and chat informally about excluding bats from buildings.
Formal instruction begins at 9am on Day 1 and will conclude by 5pm on Day 3. Field trips include viewing bats in buildings, building artificial roosts, and visiting two abandoned mines specifically preserved for bats. Additional optional evening programs to meet bats in the wild are planned Friday and Saturday nights when we will attempt to capture live bats in the park using various net techniques as well as electronic eavesdropping devices that classify bat calls.
Location and Directions: Our partners at Canoe Creek State Park in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania are hosting us for this workshop, in the Park Education Center and we will tour various bat resources at the Park during our demonstrations and field trips. To reach Canoe Creek State Park, travel on US-22 to the small village of Canoe Creek (7 miles east of Hollidaysburg). Turn north on the Turkey Valley Road for ½ mile and the park entrance will be on your right. For a map and more details, visit the Park website.
Lodging: Participants must make their own lodging arrangements. Nearby hotels and inns are located in Duncanville – Altoona where prices range between $50-100 per night.
Meals: Lunch on Saturday and Sunday is provided at Canoe Creek. Vegetarian fare is available with advanced notice. To choose your meal option or make the organizers aware of any allergies or special needs, please fill out the “Student Registration Details” form for EACH person registering for the workshop. Breakfast and Dinner is on your own, and there are many restaurants to choose from in Altoona.
Course Instructors: This course will be presented by John Chenger, Bat Conservation and Management; Heidi Mullendore, Canoe Creek State Park; and Janet D. Tyburec, Bat Survey Solutions, LLC. In addition we will feature video appearances by Merlin D. Tuttle and resources from Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation.
Pre-course Preparation: There is no prerequisite for this workshop. All backyard naturalists, educators, animal-lovers and anyone with an interest in learning more about bats are welcome to attend. Though the instruction and activities are geared towards adults, mature school-age children are welcome with an accompanying parent or guardian and will be accommodated at a reduced registration fee of $225 (each). The instructors will provide complete information to all registered participants about how to prepare for the trip, including a suggested packing list, complete maps and driving directions to all our classroom locations and field venues, and a final draft of our weekend agenda.
This workshop includes many optional opportunities for field trips and nighttime work with bats. Participants will not be allowed to handle bats, but photography and echolocation call recording is allowed. Instructors will facilitate all fieldwork with bats. A bat house building activity is planned and all tools and assembly materials will be provided. Adults will be required to supervise any minors brought to this activity. We will also have an opportunity to visit bat roosts and enter Hartman Mine (aka Canoe Creek Mine) to view the “cave” environment and former hibernacula for thousands of bats (pre-WNS). Helmets and Tyvek coveralls for the mine trip are provided but participants must bring their own lights. A headlamp is suggested in addition to a secondary light source. Participants will be required to crawl thru a small door in the mine entrance gate and walk down a steep slope that is rather rocky and can be slippery. Once inside the mine, passages are large and not claustrophobic at all. Complete White Nose Syndrome disinfection and decontamination practices will be required of anyone entering the mine. Information including the latest references about the disease in bats and important conservation and management steps to reduce its impact during this class will be included in the pre-course materials distributed prior to class.
Feel free to contact us any time if you have additional specific questions about the workshop or how to prepare. Our current draft agenda for this event is available for download here.
How to Register: Please register by ordering online. NOTE: to register multiple people, please checkout each person individually so that we can obtain the proper contact information for each participant. Use the Student Registration Detail link to provide complete information for our records.