Discovery Workshop - Join the Nightlife with Bats and Texas Pecans

Bat Survey Solutions is partnering with Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation (MTBC) and our friends at Swift River Pecans to bring a unique educational workshop to you this September. Along the San Marcos River in Central Texas, we will get to visit the birthplace of the commercial pecan industry at a unique orchard managed on the edge of ancient pecan groves. This Discovery Workshop showcases a holistic approach towards commercial agriculture that safeguards native soils, water, and wildlife - including bats! 


Dates: Thursday thru Saturday 22-24 September 2022
3-nights / 2 days
Cost: $275 per person

Thursday night begins with a "kick-off" picnic dinner bat emergence at the famous Bracken Cave, just north of San Antonio

Formal instruction begins at 9am on Friday and will conclude by 10pm on Saturday. Field trips include viewing Central Texas bat habitat, building artificial roosts, and visiting both commercial and native pecan groves to learn about sustainable agricultural practices. Additional optional evening programs to meet bats in the wild are planned Friday and Saturday nights when we capture live bats in the orchards with mist-nets and harp traps as well as bat detectors that record and classify the echolocation calls of those that evade capture.

Location and Directions: Our presentations will be held at the Courtyard Marriott in San Marcos (625 Commercial Loop, San Marcos TX 78666). Demonstrations and field trips will be at nearby Swift River Pecans (9975 San Marcos Highway - TX Highway 80 and Caldwell County Road 111).

Lodging: Participants must make their own lodging arrangements. For convenience we suggest booking at the Courtyard Marriott.

Meals: Picnic Dinners are provided on Thursday. Friday and Saturday. Vegetarian fare is available with advanced notice. Breakfast and Lunch is on your own, and there are many restaurants to choose from in San Marcos.

Course Instructors: This course will be presented by Troy Swift, Owner, Swift River Pecans; Charles Rohla, Manager of Pecans, Noble Research Institute;  Merlin D. Tuttle Founder, Merlin Tuttle's Bat Consrvation; and Janet D. Tyburec, Bat Survey Solutions. 

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 as a form of integrated pest-control and agricultural health 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. 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 lecture, demonstration locations and field venues.

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.  A headlamp is suggested in addition to a secondary light source for participation in evening and nighttime activities. 

Feel free to contact us any time if you have additional specific questions about the workshop or how to prepare. An agenda for this event is available for download here.

How to Register: To register, scan the QR code below. All registrations are handled by Eventbrite. For information about student or early bird discounts, group rates at the Marriott and for any other questions, download a complete registration packet or contact Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation