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.
Biology, Spanish, Philosophy