Echolocation Technology and Bat Surveys

The Royal Experience Internship has allowed me to begin exploring the incredibly interesting and relatively new field of echolocation technology. Although I have only learned the very basics of surveying bats, I’ve already gained more experience in the field than I ever could have imagined. I have always enjoyed working with animals, but I never thought that I would have the opportunity to gain the specific and unique skill set required for tracking down and recording the echolocation calls of such small and evasive animals.

Populations of bats in the Northeastern United States have declined steadily since the first outbreak of White-Nose Syndrome in Albany, New York in 2006. The White-Nose fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, feeds off of the fat reserves in hibernating bats and ultimately has decimated the population levels of several species. The low populations in our region make it very challenging to survey bats so I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade from Dr. Gary Kwiecinski, a bat expert. I am confident that this internship will allow me to refine the skills required to accurately survey such a rare and evasive animal.

The cultivation of my bat-finding techniques will be invaluable for me in the future, as I plan to pursue a career in animal research. The Royal Experience Internship has provided me with an opportunity to diversify my skills and gain practical, hands-on experience for my future career goals.

Tate Ackerman
Biology, Spanish, Philosophy

2 Replies to “Echolocation Technology and Bat Surveys”

  1. Hi Tate!

    I’m glad to hear it seems like you are enjoying your internship experience very much so far! This sounds like such an interesting opportunity to me! As someone who knows very little about the topics you are exploring, this relatively new field seems fascinating and I think it’s great that you are able to get so much experience working in it at such an early point in your career. I hope you continue to enjoy your time at your internship and continue to explore your passion for working with animals!

    1. Hi Tate,
      your experience sounds very interesting to me. I always have loved bats, and I know of a small population on campus! Being an avid outdoorsman, I have seen bats with White Nose Syndrome, and it is a very unfortunate demise for these beautiful and necessary creatures. I would love to hear more about your work, and see some pictures! Keep up the good work, I look forward to reading more from you.

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