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SonoBat Field
Techniques Workshop

Jumonville Christian Camp and Retreat Center
Laurel Caverns Geological Park • September 28-October 1, 2011

The SonoBat software package, developed by Joe Szewczak (Arcata CA), is one of the premiere bat echolocation signal analysis packages available to display, analyze, and discriminate between bat calls. The SonoBat Field Techniques Workshop in Uniontown takes advantage of the local habitat diversity in the scenic Allegheny Mountain Region of PA to highlight a variety of acoustic monitoring techniques relevant to bat inventories in eastern woodlands. These inventories are becoming even more important in the wake of the rampant spread of White-nose Syndrome (WNS) among the region's bats. This workshop addresses critical bat research needs by providing intensive training in the use and implementation of SonoBat for recording bat echolocation calls and designing acoustic inventories that emphasize full-spectrum acoustic techniques as recommended by the new USFWS guidelines for Wind and Wildlife when species ID is important.

Program Details
Laurel caverns Geological Park and the Jumonville Christian Camp are situated amid state forest and state game lands which provide roosting and foraging resources for all nine species of bats known from Northeastern North America. Several nearby hibernacula have been documented as important sites for endangered Indiana myotis, in addition to other hibernating bats currently at risk from WNS. Our fieldwork during this course will acquaint students with critical acoustic inventory and monitoring protocols designed to study these dwindling populations.

The workshop combines indoor classroom lectures and discussions with outdoor field outings. Participants receive an introduction to the use of SonoBat software for conducing acoustic monitoring and inventories as well as a comprehensive understanding of common echolocation call characteristics used for species identification. Guided classroom demonstrations and hands-on experience with equipment in the field will acquaint participants with a full range of methods, techniques, and technologies available for acoustic analysis. See below for a complete list of lecture and discussion topics, demonstrations, and evening field activities. Daily goals and objectives for the course are described more fully at the bottom of this page. A detailed agenda will be provided to all registered participants prior to the course.

The SonoBat Field Techniques Workshop is open to biologists and naturalists from federal, state, or local agencies, college and/or graduate students, and other professionals or enthusiasts with a desire to learn more about full-spectrum echolocation recording and bat call analysis using SonoBat software.

One session: September 28-October 1 (Wednesday-Saturday). Class size: Limited to 20 students. Location: Jumonville Camp and Retreat Center, Uniontown, PA.

Laurel Caverns
Situated on a spur of Chestnut Ridge overlooking the Ohio Valley towards Pittsburgh, Laurel Caverns is the longest mapped commercial cave in in Pennsylvania with 2.228 miles of explored passages. With an elevation change of 464 feet, Laurel Caverns is by far the deepest cave in Pennsylvania, although no vertical drops are necessary to reach the bottom. The cave can be thought of as two distinct sections, a complex maze located near the Visitor Center and a series of large trunk passages descending partway down the mountain. Historically the cave harbored an estimated 100,000 overwintering bats including the now federally endangered Indiana bat. Our workshop will enter the Upper Cave once for a private tour (no special equipment or clothing is necessary), and we will enjoy the fall swarm during the evening at the Historic Entrance.

Workshop Instructors:
Joe Szewczak, B.S.E. (1980) Duke University, Ph.D. (1991) Brown University, is an Associate Professor at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. His research has investigated the physiological capabilities of bats and other small mammals, from cold hibernative torpor 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, and “The Ecology and Conservation of California Bats” through San Francisco State University. Joe has also taught acoustic monitoring workshops for BCI and other groups in California, Oregon, Arizona, Washington, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. He is the developer of SonoBat software to analyze and interpret bat echolocation calls and is currently developing automated bird and bat acoustic monitoring and identification methods for the Department of Defense (SERDP) and other agencies.

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 in 1992. She has been extensively trained by BCI founder, Merlin D. Tuttle. Over the years, she has personally taught over 1,500 wildlife biologists, land managers, and students of conservation in the course of presenting over 100 field workshops. She currently oversees all training and instruction at BCI's Arizona, California, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania locations. She continues to be involved with many aspects of BCI's workshop program and its growth as a contract employee, a position she has held from September 2002 to the present. She has also contracted with other federal and state agencies, including the USDA Forest Service, USDI National Park Service and the Department of Defense to conduct custom training workshops for directors, staff, seasonal employees, and volunteers.

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. He has also served as Director of Interpretation at Laurel Caverns for 5 years.

Lectures and demonstrations cover a full range of bat echolocation and acoustic monitoring subjects, with a focus on the use of SonoBat software for designing inventory and monitoring programs for bats. Topics will include:

• Introduction to bat bio-acoustics, echolocation, and bat detectors
• Hands on demonstration with available bat detector models
• Bat detector use in the field for active and passive monitoring
• Bat monitoring program designs and choosing the right bat detector for the job
• Introduction to SonoBat software for recording and signal analysis_
• Call characteristics for bat identification on the basis of echolocation calls
• Auto-classification using SonoBat 3.0, data handling, storage, and interpretation


Monitoring the bat swarm outside an abandoned mine complex nearby.

SonoBat Field Techniques Workshop

Location and Directions: Jumonville Christen Camp and Retreat Center, Uniontown PA. Please see map at Jumonville has many historic buildings on campus so please familiarize yourself with the location of the Inn

Dates and times: September 28 (Wednesday) thru October 1 (Saturday). Check in begins at noon on September 28, at the Inn located on the Jumonville campus, the first classroom session begins promptly at 1pm. Formal presentations will conclude by noon on Saturday October 1. An optional, private tour of Laurel Caverns will begin at 1pm for those wishing to participate and should conclude by 3pm.

Jumonville Lodging:
Overnight lodging is available at the Inn in the same building where lectures are scheduled. Each room has a double bed and private bath for $70.00 a night. No smoking or credit cards accepted; cash or check only. Contact Mary at (800) 463-7688. To reserve a room, you may have to send a check in as a deposit to Mary at Jumonville, 887 Jumonville Rd., Hopwood, PA 15445.

Off-site Lodging:
(Lodging less than a 10 minute drive from either Jumonville or Laurel Caverns)

Summit Inn - - (800) 433-8594
Hopwood Motel - - (724) 437-7591
Lodge at Chalk Hill - - (800) 833-4283

Lodging along Route 40 west of Uniontown
(<20 minutes from either Jumonville or Laurel Caverns)

Super 8 Uniontown - - (724) 425-0261
Fairfield Inn Uniontown - - (724) 434-1800
Hampton Inn Uniontown - - (724) 430-1000
Heritage Inn of Uniontown - - (724) 437-7829
Mount Vernon Inn Motel - (724) 437-2704

General Equipment: Participants need to bring appropriate field gear, including hiking boots, a headlamp with batteries, a personal pack, and a water bottle. No bats will be handled at this workshop, so participants do not need rabies pre-exposure vaccination. The location is a mountaintop in the fall, please bring a jacket and dress appropriately for evening activities. We will be visiting abandoned mine and natural cave entrances, but not physically entering them, therefore WNS decontamination is optional.

Acoustic Equipment: Please bring your personal bat recording gear, laptops and connecting cables. We will have a number of Pettersson D240x detectors for participants to lend, and a demo AR125 and SM2BAT. Functional trials of SonoBat will be available to install on