ACOUSTIC SURVEY METHODS FOR BATS

Punta Gorda, Florida • 21-26 January 2018

With the growing use of bat detectors as survey tools, training courses that familiarize users with the complex hardware and software available are essential. Our Acoustic Survey Methods for Bats Workshop is designed to help users to responsibly interpret acoustic survey results required by agencies and clients. This class demonstrates current acoustic inventory techniques for properly deploying both passive and active full-spectrum detectors. The focus is on data management workflows, including analysis using SonoBat and Kaleidoscope, how to interpret AutoID results from these programs, and how to manually confirm or reject the automated classification results. Participants will be empowered to compare results of multiple auto-classifiers themselves rather than relying heavily on outside contractors for data analysis.

Program Details
Guided classroom demonstrations and hands-on experience with equipment in the field will acquaint participants with the full range of methods, techniques, and technologies available for surveying bats in almost any eastern North American habitat. Participants will learn how to speed post-processing and enhance call analysis. This class will illustrate the short-comings of simply accepting the output results from automated classifiers. Students will learn how to manually review recordings to ensure accurate identification and occupancy results. Instructors will also guide participants on how to interpret the automated outputs generated by Kaleidoscope Pro and SonoBat to determine confidence in the MLE values and species classifications. This course will provide students with realistic examples of call-collection and processing that is likely to occur during actual acoustic field surveys. Students learn important survey and deployment essentials to satisfy various agency acoustic survey guidelines. This class is suitable for participants using acoustics anywhere in North America.

Optional BCID/EchoClass Data Analysis Module
While the emphasis of the main acoustic training is on regional bat classifications using KaPRO and SonoBat software, when the last day of class wraps at 11am, we will offer an optional extended mini-course to demonstrate workflows for processing zero-cross files in BCID and EchoClass.  Instructors will guide participants on how to interpret the BCID and EchoClass automated outputs and use AnaLook and Kaleidoscope Pro to manually vet file-level classifications to confirm or reject MLE’s for species presence. Lunch on this day and an additional evening field trip or data management geek session is included. Participants must register separately for this optional Module.

Evening Field Trips and Geek Sessions
Each night of the workshop includes opportunities to visit nearby locations for active monitoring at various bat emergences and to learn about ongoing local Florida Bonneted bat research and conservation. Additionally participants are encouraged to deploy multiple passive detectors from various manufacturers and gain familiarity with post-processing workflows. Participants may also conduct mobile acoustic transects and learn the post-processing workflow for visualizing them using Myotisoft Transect software. Certain freshwater rivers near Punta Gorda are best sampled via kayak transects. We will offer this optional, one-of-a-kind transect option and provide boats, paddles, equipment to deploy detectors, and will provide all necessary transportation logistics to and from the river. However, interested participants should be prepared to kayak 3-5 miles, at night, in relatively isolated, though occasionally alligator-infested flat-water and prepare to bring all clothing and personal gear necessary for such an outing. PFD's can be provided.

This class is an intermediate workshop for students somewhat familiar with acoustic monitoring software or who have attended a previous acoustic survey workshop. This is a data-management intensive workshop, which demonstrates the realism of reporting on survey results compiled from multiple detectors deployed for multiple days. A working knowledge of Microsoft Excel is mandatory for all students. Please review the tentative agenda below to be sure this specialized workshop will meet your needs.

Agenda Topics
Field Trips: Methods for Recording Southeastern U.S. Bats

  • Siting, Placement, Deployment, Data Collection, and Documentation
  • Recording Data and Organization in Preparation for Post-processing
  • Tips and Tricks for Gear Removal and Storage
  • File/Directory Structure for Archiving Recordings and Meta-data Resources

Lectures: Call Morphology & Call Characteristics of Eastern U.S. Bats

  • Introduction to Echolocation 101 and 201
  • Understanding Basic Call Shapes, Call Plasticity, and Species Repertoires
  • Identifying Myotis vs. Non-myotids using Fc and Call Shape
  • How Bat Behavior, Natural History, Habitat and Environmental Conditions Affect Echolocation Calls and Recording Quality
  • Archetypal Call Characteristics of Eastern Bat Species
  • Recognizing Ambiguity in Call Types: Knowing when NOT to Make the Call
  • The Question and Relevance of Reporting on Ambiguous Recordings

Demo: Workflow for Off-loading Detector Data

  • Examining Log Files for Evidence of Proper Detector Functioning (including Pettersson D500x, Binary Acoustics, and all Wildlife Acoustics hardware)
  • Off-loading Data, Archiving Recordings, Creating Meta-data File Notes
  • Using Appropriate SonoBat or Kaleidoscope Attributors to Speed Post-processing Steps
  • Attributing Recordings and Populating Appropriate Working Directories for Generating Night-level / Site-level MLE’s

Demo: Use KaleidoscopePRO and SonoBat for AutoID and File-level MLEs

  • Deleting/Moving Scrubbed Files and Batching Remainder for KaPRO
  • Viewing KaPRO and SonoBat Outputs and Assigning Significance to AutoIDs
  • Understanding MLE Values for Probability of Occupancy
  • Using the SonoBatch control panel
  • Understanding Pulse-level, Sequence-level, and Consensus Decisions
  • Understanding KaPRO Output and Clusters
  • Excel Tips to Summarize, Assign Significance, Filter and Interpret Data.

Demo: Vetting AutoIDs from SonoBat and KaPRO

  • Viewing Recordings in SonoBat and KaPRO simultaneously, demonstrating basic and advanced viewing tools & filters
  • Sorting Spreadsheet Outputs to Create File-level Concurrence Reports
  • Viewing Results in Accordance with the Current FWS Guidelines
  • Combining Results at the Site-level for Occupancy Predictions

Lectures: Hardware, Software, and Vetting Issues

  • Mobile Transect Considerations and Visualization
  • Why "Expert" Manual Vetting Can Fail and How To Spot It
  • Some Known Hardware and Software Pitfalls To Avoid
  • Case Studies of Professional Failed Acoustic Survey Reports

The Final Exam: Who Wants to be an Acoustic Surveyor?

  • Students Receive Unidentified Spectrographs and Must Make a Confident ID
  • Participants Need to Realize which Metrics are Relevant and which are Not
  • Play Continues until Everyone has Provided a Correct Answer

Wrap up and Closure: What Have We Learned?

  • Review of Participant Submitted Data
  • Summarize Acoustic Effort at the Project Level Based on Site-level Reports
  • Distribution of Lecture Resources Identified at the Workshop
  • Instructors Available for Additional 1-on-1 with Students for Lingering Issues

ZC Data Module: Use Kaleidoscope to Convert FS Recordings to ZC

  • Appropriate File/Directory Structures with ZC Files for EchoClass Outputs
  • Kaleidoscope Settings for ZC Conversion
  • Directory Structure and Filename Scheme for Identifying Recordings
  • EchoClass and BCID Outputs and MLE Values for Probability of Occupancy

Geek Sessions: Late Evening Options to Work 1:1 with Instructors or Review Data

Evening Fieldwork: Active/Passive/Driving Transect/Kayak Transect Recording Efforts at Locations TBA based on local conditions.

 

Venue Details

Bat Acoustic Fieldwork and Data Management Workshop
Punta Gorda, FL

Registration: $1,695.00 per participant w/early registration discount ($1,895 after December 15, 2018)

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Six days in Punta Gorda, FL. Five optional evening sessions. Lunches included on days 2-5. Lodging and other meals not included. Hotel shuttle from Punta Gorda International Airport (PGD) provided by local taxi services.

 

Echoclass/BCID Data Module
Registration: $349.00 per participant. Friday afternoon/evening which includes Friday lunch
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Location and Directions:

Hurricane Charley's Raw Bar & Grill
300 West Retta Esplanade; Punta Gorda, FL 33950; Phone: (941) 639-9695

Dates: 21-26 January 2018 (Sunday night social & intro to active monitoring; Monday-Friday instruction). Check-in starts at 7:30 AM Monday, program begins promptly at 8:30am, class officially concludes by Noon on Friday. Participants may register for the Friday afternoon ZC Data Module separately which extends into Friday night.

Lodging: Participants must make their own lodging arrangements. Lodging is available at the PG Waterfront Hotel adjacent to Hurricane Charley's. The PG Waterfront Hotel is approximately $130/night. The PG Waterfront Hotel is located in Punta Gorda, an easy walk to Fisherman's Village, Gilchrest Park and other popular shopping and dining venues. Other nearby options include an upper scale Four Points Punta Gorda one block east. Also consider the Budget Inn Punta Gorda three miles south on Rt. 41.

Airport: The closest airport is Punta Gorda (PGD). Local taxi fares to the PG Waterfront Hotel are approximately ~$20.

General Equipment: The course is conducted in a classroom setting with three evening field trips. Normal light hiking dress for the weather, headlamps, and insect repellent is suggested for the field trips. No bats will be handled at this workshop. (Participants do not need rabies pre-exposure vaccination.)

Software Requirements: Functional trials of Kaleidoscope, SonoBat and BCID will be available for students to install on a personal laptop prior to the course. Directions will also be provided on how to obtain the free version EchoClass. Please note that while frequency-division technology (a.k.a. zero-cross recordings in AnaBat format) will be demonstrated during the main workshop, those heavily invested in Analook, BCID, or Echoclass workflows are encouraged to take the Friday afternoon ZC Data Module. Microsoft Excel is required to view and compile the outputs from all the classifier programs.

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, Kaleidoscope, and if desired, BCID and EchoClass (both EC and BCID will run on a Mac under Parallels), and Microsoft Excel.

It is very important for all students to pre-install all the suggested software and become familiar with basic features and operations to maximize time spent learning the various work-flows and utilities. Allow 1-3 hours to install software especially if you are new to acoustic monitoring. Participants are required to bring their own laptops with the suggested acoustic software & Microsoft Office suite, especially Excel, pre-loaded.

We will be analyzing new data as well as sample data from other previous workshops or projects. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own full spectrum data to analyze as well!

Acoustic Equipment: Evening field trips provide the opportunity to go over details of a particular recorder as needed. Please bring any personal bat detector(s), recorder(s), and connecting cables you have, if you have questions on your particular setup. Our workshops do not limit the participants to one brand of full-spectrum detector.

Meals: Lunches on Days 2-4, and daily coffee/tea service is provided. All other meals are "on your own." A number of restaurants are a short walk from the meeting location, and the meeting location offers a breakfast buffet.

How to Register: Please order online. To register multiple people, please checkout each person individually so that we can obtain the proper contact information for each participant. Please also mention any special topics you are definitely interested in the text box provided on the checkout screen.

 

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The Fine Print . . .

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Confirmation Details

Courses fill quickly and attendance at each course is strictly limited due to staffing and facilities logistics. Registration and payment is required to reserve a seat in class. An automated receipt for course fees is sent immediately upon registration. At least 45-days prior to the start of class, Janet Tyburec will contact class members to confirm registration details and will provide additional pre-course materials including a detailed daily agenda and information on what to bring to and how to prepare to enhance participation.

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Deadlines and Cancellation Policy

The registration deadline for any course is 45-days prior to the start of class (listed as “Day 1” on the course agenda). Reservations cannot be held without payment. After the deadline, space in class is available on a first-come, first-served basis only if the attendance cap has not been met. Daily rates for courses are not available. Refunds will be issued upon request, less a $250 processing fee, if a participant must cancel prior to the registration deadline. After the deadline, fees are not refundable but registration is transferable to another participant for the purchased class only. Consider purchasing trip insurance if this cancellation policy is not acceptable.

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What's Included . . .

Meals not specifically indicated as included, transportation to and from the workshop location, and any pre- or post-lodging fees to facilitate travel are not included. Please, no audio or video recording during class. Presentations, agendas, and in-field activities are subject to change without notice according to group dynamics and local conditions. If the purpose of attending one of our courses is to help you maintain or improve skills related to employment or business, expenses related to the programs may be tax-deductible according to I.R.C. Reg. 1.162-5. Please consult your tax advisor. Completion of any training class does not constitute an endorsement of skills that may be required by a permitting agency.

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