3-days / 2-nights (lodging and meals, on your own) in San Marcos, TX
PLEASE NOTE: a very special tour is being planned all day Friday May 10. Please inquire for details or watch this for this developing bonus activity and consider planning accordingly.
Dates:Tuesday thru Thursday, 7 - 9 May 2019. (Note: an optional field trip is being secured for Friday May 10th as well). Class begins promptly at 8am on Day 1 (Tuesday) and will conclude by 5 pm on Day 3 (Thursday). Days 1 and 2 will conclude by midnight, with 90-minute breaks for lunch and dinner. NOTE: Students must make their own travel arrangements to the workshop location.
Location and Directions: This training course is in San Marcos TX, conveniently located in the Hill Country between Austin and San Antonio. All lectures and demonstrations will be conducted in the conference room at the Hampton Inn, 106 N. Interstate-35, San Marcos TX 78666 Phone: (512) 754-7707 Field trips to area caves and other bat roosts will be conducted each nights. Complete location information including maps and driving directions will be distributed on Day 1 of class.
Airport(s): The closest airports are San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and Austin-Bergrstrom International Airport (AUS)
Lodging:Participants must make their own lodging arrangements. Lodging is available at the Hampton Inn, 106 N. Interstate-35, San Marcos TX 78666 Phone: (512) 754-7707
Rates are approximately $100/night. Because we will offer evening “geek sessions” after our nightly field practicums, students are encouraged to book rooms at the Hampton.
Meals: Day-long coffee/tea/bottled water will be provided in the lecture room. A free continental breakfast is included for all students staying at the Hampton Inn. All other meals are “on your own” and students will receive a 90-minute break each day so they can plan accordingly.
Course Instructors: Merlin Tuttle, founder of Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation; Jim Kennedy, Kennedy Above/Under Ground, LLC; and John Chenger, Bat Conservation and Management, Inc.
Pre-course Preparation: This training is ideal for state and federal agency biologists, consultants, and other students seeking hands on experience with cave conservation, cave survey and management techniques, and cave protection practices, all with a special emphasis on bats. A highlight of this training is a special appearance by Merlin D. Tuttle, one of the pioneers of bat cave research and conservation initiatives. Merlin received his PhD studying gray myotis throughout their range in the southeastern U.S. He was instrumental in getting this bat listed as Endangered, and his population dynamics studies contributed directly to the recovery of this species. Until WNS appeared in 2006, the gray myotis actually was being considered for down- or de-listing by the USF&WS. Merlin will help us to understand the critical underground environment bats need as he takes us to a Central Texas location he’s been monitoring in recent years. Other instructors include John D. Chenger and James W. Kennedy, who collectively have nearly a century of cave exploration, mapping, interpretation, management, and protection experience. John and Jim will guide students in the step-by-step actions for survey, protection, and management of the underground environment. Both will conduct lectures, present hands-on demonstrations, and lead field trips to provide students with a comprehensive look into the importance of and protocols for cave conservation and management.
The workshop will be conducted over a large expanse of the Hill Country of Central Texas. Students should be prepared to drive down graded dirt roads, and hike short distances over rocky terrain with thorny vegetation at elevations between 1,000-2,000 feet above sea level. This class WILL be entering the underground environments of caves. Helmets with lights, a secondary light source, gloves, sturdy shoes, and a complete change of clothes are required personal gear for all cave trips. (Cave trips will NOT involve technical rope work or other sophisticated experience.) Complete White Nose Syndrome 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 pre-course materials to registered participants.
No prior underground work is necessary. Approximately ten-days prior to the start of class, students will receive a complete list of what to bring and how to prepare for class, but feel free to contact us at any time if you have specific questions about the class or how to prepare. A draft agenda for our cave management training class is available for download.
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 Details link to provide complete student information for our records.