Bat Tech

Bats’ voracious appetite for insects make them a major biological influence, yet we lack even basic information about them in California oak woodlands. Gain knowledge and skills to further citizen scientist bat research, and learn how technology is used to identify, track and protect bats from threats like wind turbines and White Nose Syndrome.


Angela Brierly, Western Bat Workers Association member & UC Santa Cruz Visiting Researcher at Pepperwood


Come see who's secretly flying around the preserve! Bats, like humans, have different communication modes: Just as humans sing, talk, whisper and yell, bats vocalize to socialize, orient, search and hunt. These voices use different sound frequencies and repetitions at a higher pitch than the human ear can detect. We’ll use an ultrasonic microphone to capture and bring these into a human-audible pitch, geolocate each observation, and auto-suggest species identifications. Along the way, we’ll learn about the biology of these fascinating mammals, how they’re affected by habitat loss and degradation, and what you can do to help. Hear about recent technological developments that further bat research and protection, and how bat research itself has led to the advancement of technology such as bio-inspired flight robotics.

We will meet in the Education Center across the footbridge from the Osborn Preserve parking lot. After an orientation, we will set out on the trail covering the lower portion of the preserve to observe bats flying at dusk near water sources, such as the marsh, Turtle Pond, and perennial creek. We’ll record and interpret our findings at each stop, and learn about bats while hiking between locations. Information about how you can continue using your new skills will be provided before we wrap-up and say goodbye from the Education Center.


This event is geared toward adults, but ages 15-17 are welcome with a legal guardian. No previous experience or knowledge is required.

We will be hiking 1 mile with approximately 300 foot elevation gain.

Fairfield Osborn Preserve is a 15-minute drive from Sonoma State's main campus, on Lichau Road in Penngrove. Parking is limited so please consider carpooling, and let us know if you plan to do this so we can open more registration spots accordingly. Driving directions to Fairfield Osborn Preserve will be provided in your registration confirmation and email.

Participants must sign a waiver upon arrival. Pets and smoking are not permitted.

A restroom, potable water and microwave are available on site.

This is a rain or shine event.

What to Bring

Please bring a headlamp or flashlight, insect protection, rain gear, a water bottle with at least 1 liter capacity, a hearty snack, and shoes to hike in. Layered warm clothing and long pants are recommended.

How to Sign Up

See registration link below. Each participant should register separately.

This event is free of charge.

About the Center

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.

Fairfield Osborn Preserve
Admission Fees
Contact Email
Contact Phone
Contact Name
Kerry Wininger
Date & Time Registration Link
Friday, September, 13, 2019, 6:30pm to 9:30pm