Written by Dr. Kloepper
It’s hard to believe that in less than two months we hit the road for our summer field season. This semester has quickly flown by! We have a daily reminder of our upcoming trip, however, because the office is filling up with all our field gear:
On June 7, we will load up our SUV with all our gear and hit the road the following day. Although we’re still finalizing our exact schedule, we hope to hit up 9 caves over our 8 week, 5000 mile+ trip. At each cave we plan to collect acoustic, video, and environmental data of the emergence of large Mexican free-tail bat colonies. Here is our proposed route for this summer:
We have been in contact with wonderful landowners, conservation groups, and park rangers who are welcoming us to their caves so we can conduct our research. It’s going to be a hectic but fun summer as the three humans (one professor and two students) and one canine travel the country to investigate bat echolocation and flight behavior.
For the two undergraduate students, Cassi and Stephanie, this is their first time doing any bioacoustic work or having any bat experience. They are finalizing their rabies vaccinations and stocking up on appropriate field gear. Before we leave, there is a lot of training we have to do on bioacoustic and video analysis. The ladies have been working hard, and we have weekly data prep sessions late into the evening.
With each passing day, we get more and more excited for our summer trip. We’re so excited to have you follow along with our adventures this summer!