In response to the growing use of bat detectors as inventory and monitoring tools, training courses  familiarizing users with the increasingly complex hardware and software are essential. Bat Conservation and Management, Inc. and SonoBat are hosting a SonoBat Software Training Workshop at the Airport Best Western in Albany, New York, immediately following the 2013 Northeast Bat Working Group conference. This course highlights current acoustic inventory techniques with a focus on the use of the latest full-spectrum bat detectors, echolocation call analysis using the powerful SonoBat 3 software, and integrating full-spectrum detectors into state and federal bat survey protocols. Our team of expert power users with combined experience of 60+ years of bat fieldwork are your instructors, which includes the SonoBat developer.

Program Details
The SonoBatTM software training course provides a detailed, guided introduction to the most feature-rich software package for ultrasound analysis and automated bat species identification available. Students will learn the physics of sound to better interpret the biology and ecology of bats from echolocation recordings revealed by SonoBat. Key features of SonoBat designed to extract key bat call characteristics and concepts in acoustic analysis will be demonstrated and explained in detail during guided demonstrations. Participants will gain an understanding of the theory and practice of recording and analyzing ultrasonic bat vocalizations to interpret bat activity and species presence, with special emphasis on the pitfalls and solutions for successful species identification. Students will have pre-recorded bat calls from recent regional acoustic inventories during all hands-on analysis demonstrations, and participants are encouraged to bring their own raw files to process and provide realistic illustrations of call collection concepts and processing examples likely to occur during actual acoustic efforts in the field. Finally, recommended workflows for converting WAV files to Zero-cross (ZC) format for auxiliary call classification using EchoClass and BCID will be demonstrated. Although fieldwork is not the focus of this class, a variety of bat detectors will be available for students to use, and (weather and bat-activity permitting) we will collect actual field recordings for analysis. A complete list of the course, including the lectures, discussions, and demonstrations appears below

One Session: January 11-13 (Friday evening-Sunday afternoon). Class size: Limited to 20 participants. Location: Airport Best Western, Albany, NY

Workshop Instructors:
Joe Szewczak, B.S.E. (1980) Duke University, Ph.D. (1991) Brown University, is a Professor at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. His research has investigated the physiological capabilities of bats and other small mammals from cold torpor in hibernation to the intense demands of flight and high altitude, and the physiological ecology of bats. His teaching includes “Using SonoBat for Non-invasive Bat Monitoring” for the University of California, “Biology of the Chiroptera” at Humboldt State University, “The Ecology and Conservation of California Bats” through San Francisco State University, and he has also taught acoustic monitoring workshops for BCI and other groups throughout the US. He began collecting recordings of bats 20 years ago with the notion that they may someday prove useful for identifying bats. Dissatisfied with available acoustic software, he began developing SonoBat to facilitate the specialized tasks of viewing, analyzing, and comparing bat echolocation calls and sequences. He has continued to develop SonoBat from the perspective of his and other real users to make it a tool served up to bat biologists from bat biologists.

Janet Tyburec, B.A. (1989) Trinity University, a full-time employee at Bat Conservation International, Inc. (BCI), from 1989 thru September 2002, has been involved in the structure and execution of training workshops since the inception of BCI's workshop efforts. She has been extensively trained by BCI founder, Merlin D. Tuttle. And from 1992 to 2012, she has personally taught over 2,500 wildlife biologists, land managers, and students of conservation in the course of presenting over 150 field workshops. She has provided all training and instruction at BCI's Arizona, California, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania locations. She has also contracted with other federal and state agencies, including the USDA Forest Service, USDI National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Defense to conduct custom training workshops for directors, staff, seasonal employees, and volunteers.

David Riggs, BS Computer Science (2007) West Virginia University, has
over 12 years professional experience as a Software Engineer, developing software for Lockheed Martin, the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI), and Science Applications International Corp. As a Joint Venturer with the Cave Research Foundation, he as surveyed and performed resource inventory for the National Park Service (NPS) in both the longest and deepest caves in the United States. Since 2007, he has served as part-time field crew for Bat Conservation and Management's cave hibernacula and acoustic monitoring projects. As founder of Myotisoft, he currently serves as the North American service center for Pettersson bat detectors, produces software solutions for the management and analysis of bat acoustic data, and provides consulting services for the development of acoustic protocols.

John Chenger, president of Bat Conservation and Management, Inc. (BCM), has worked with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) to conduct cave and mine assessments and other bat inventories. He has also worked with BCI since 1997 to facilitate training workshops in Arizona, California, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. He founded BCM in 1999 to address nuisance bat management issues by providing man-made roosts and performing bat-exclusion and bat- proofing services. His company has grown to include seasonal bat roost and habitat surveys, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) endangered species compliance inventories, acoustic monitoring studies, and large-scale migratory bat radio-tracking projects. His work has led him to develop and manufacture commercially available survey gear including mist net poles, portable triple-high mist-net sets, harp traps, and bat houses certified by BCI.

Echolocation 101/201-Biology and Technology
o The Physics of Sound and Bat Echolocation Basics
o Basics of Search Phase Calls, Approach, and Feeding Buzz
o Open vs. Cluttered Habitat Effects
o Microphone Placement and Weatherproofing Considerations

Choosing the Right Bat Detector for the Job
o Pros, Cons, and Applications for HET, FD, and FS Detectors
o Side-by-side Comparisons of Detectors and Software Workflow
o Learn to Use the Detector of Your Choice

Acoustic Data Management and Organization
o Suggested File Management Structure & Nomenclature

Guided Demo: Offloading data from D500X & SM2+
o Selecting a Batch Attributer and adding metadata
o SonoScrubber: your new best friend

Guided Demo: Introduction to SonoBat Basic Operations
o Setting Preferences, using the Auto-recorder, displaying Calls
o Comparing Un-known Files with Reference Views
o Automated Species Classification

Call Morphology & Call Characteristics of Northeastern U.S. Bats
o Basic Call Shapes, Call Plasticity, and Vocal repertoires
o Factors Affecting Call Quality and ID Potential (noise, echoes, etc.)
o Knowing when NOT to Make the Call
o Information Harmonics Can Provide
o Call Characteristics of Individual Species

Using SonoBat 3.x for Automated Identification
o Batch Processing, Call Parameter Extraction, Output, and What Does It All Mean?

After The SonoBatch: Now What?
o Verifying SonoBat Classifications, Decisions, and Recognizing Ambiguous Sequences, "vetting" files

Geek Session (optional)
o Detailed workings of detector of your choice, one-on-one opportunity with instructors, workflow advice, demos, etc., analysis of sample calls or files you brought, additional presentations upon request.

Visualizing Mobile Transects

Workflow for Using FS Data With EchoClass

The Power of the MS Excel Pivot Table for Interpreting Results
o Appropriate Designs for SonoBatch Outputs
o Sample Workflow for Processing Data
o Charting, Graphing, and Presenting Information
o Case Study: Combining Nets, Traps, Active, and Passive Detection
o Case Study: SonoBat vs. EchoClass

Some thoughts on previous workshops:
"Dear Joe, John, Janet, and Dave: I wanted to thank you all again for such a productive  (and fun!) workshop.  It's not often that I go away from a workshop feeling like the experience was so great that I should owe you more money than what the workshop cost.  The topics were covered in wonderful detail and at a level that allowed even those of us not as familiar with acoustical analyses to understand.  The field exposure was outstanding, especially getting the opportunity to try out all the different detectors.  And, the added dimension of learning how to obtain voucher calls was a fantastic addition to the workshop.  I now feel prepared to go out to my own study site with my students and begin collecting and (at least attempting to competently) analyze bat acoustical data.  The workshop has saved me a lot of time and frustration of trying to figure "it" all out on my own. Thanks so much!"

"I would like to say a sincere thank you to all of the instructors and staff involved in the acoustic monitoring workshop. It is rare to get such a group of experts in the field in one place, in order to teach novices such as myself. Each of the instructors’ willingness to take the time to sit down and explain these complex systems one-on-one made for a tremendously informative workshop.  I believe it was indeed time and money well spent, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet and work with each of you in the future."

"John/Janet: I wanted to thank you again for the job you did with the workshop this week.  I definitely got more out of this workshop than most training courses I have taken in the past.  They were long but rewarding days, aside from the depressing reality of WNS.  In particular, I appreciate that you were both so accessible and willing to answer questions at any time – or at least you did a great job hiding that you wanted to be left alone, which deserves kudos anyway."


SonoBat Software
Albany Training Workshop

Location and Directions: Airport Best Western Albany, NY. Please see map link provided on the Best Western homepage. The physical address is : Best Western Albany Airport Inn, 200 Wolf Road,
Albany, New York, 12205-1197, US

Dates: January 11-13 (Friday-Sunday). Check in starts at 5 PM, program begins promptly at 6 PM.

Airport Shuttle: Best Western Albany Airport Inn is located only one mile from the Albany County Airport with complimentary shuttle service. Contact the hotel for more information.

Best Western Airport Inn Lodging:
Overnight lodging is available in the same building where lectures are scheduled. The rate for a double occupancy is approximately $75-85.00. Participants are responsible for their own lodging arrangements. If you are looking for a roommate please mention in the text box during checkout and your email will be shared only with any others that indicated the same. When making reservations be sure to indicate you are participating in the NEBWG/Bat meetings for best rate.

Off-site Lodging:
Use this Google link to show a map of the Albany vicinity with hotels overlaid.

General Equipment: The course is conducted entirely within a classroom setting, indoors, with Wi-Fi Internet access. Functional trials of SonoBat will be available for students to install on a personal laptop prior to the course. If you plan to use a government/institution/corporate owned computer BE SURE you have access privileges to install software during this class. Please bring a laptop loaded with the SonoBat demo, any previously recorded bat call files (*.wav format; recorded with any full spectrum detector), and a freshly formatted memory stick (2 GB or larger). It is very important for participants to pre-install the software and become familiar with its basic layout and operations to maximize time spent learning the various features and utilities. No fieldwork will be conducted during this workshop. No bats will be handled at this workshop. (Participants do not need rabies pre-exposure vaccination.)

Acoustic Equipment: Please bring any personal bat detector(s), recorder(s), and connecting cables you have. Our workshops do not limit the participants to one brand of full-spectrum detector, since SonoBat is designed to work equally well with any WAV audio file output. Some of the detector models we will have on hand for participants to borrow, include: Pettersson D100, D240x, D500x, D1000x, Binary Acoustic Technologies AR125, FR125, iFR-V, Batbox Baton, Wildlife Acoustics SM2BAT192/384, SM2BAT+, and EM3. Bring your own detector to become more familiar with its setup. We will have sample data to process during the course, but you are encouraged to bring a subset of your own data to analyze. If you have time-stamped bat recordings in *.WAV format bring them on a jump drive or other digital storage device. Students with bat call recordings that include a corresponding GPX track from mobile transect inventories can bring these as well to post-process using the Myotisoft Transecticizer. Please note that while frequency-division technology (a.k.a. zero-cross recordings in AnaBat format) will be mentioned and even demonstrated during this workshop, a comprehensive look at AnaLook and related workflow is well beyond the scope of this SonoBat software workshop and will not be presented in detail.

Meals: Morning coffee/tea and working lunch on Saturday the 12th are included with the registration fee. Please indicate below if you require vegetarian meals. All other meals are "on your own". Many restaurant options are available within 5 minutes of the hotel, several within walking distance.