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Acoustic Software
Training Workshop

Preceding the MWBWG meeting in Terre Haute, IN
Monday, March 31- Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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 an Acoustic Software Training Workshop immediately preceding the 2014 Midwest Bat Working Group conference. This course highlights current acoustic inventory techniques with a focus on the use of the latest full-spectrum bat detectors commonly available, 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
Successful acoustic bat monitoring and species identification requires nuanced skills that can take years to acquire on your own. This workshop will jump you ahead ahead by learning from experts with decades of practical experience. This training course begins with the biology of bat echolocation and the fundamentals of acoustics to understand how to acquire the highest quality recordings and best interpret them. Participants will then learn to use the many features of SonoBat software designed to speed workflow and enhance call analysis, including filters, scrubbers and batch classification utilities. You will learn how to tease out subtleties of bat calls to support confident and accurate identification and, just as importantly, to recognize and reject poor quality data. Instructors will guide participants through example recordings and data sets to demonstrate vital concepts and provide hands-on opportunities for students to gain proficiency in analyzing ultrasonic bat vocalizations to interpret bat activity and species presence. We will use data sets from recent regional acoustic inventories, and we encourage participants to bring their own raw files to process. This will provide students with realistic illustrations of call collection and processing likely to occur during actual acoustic efforts in the field. The workshop will also demonstrate the workflow for reducing full-spectrum files for use with Echoclass, BCID, and Kaleidoscope Pro. This venue is situated one block from Fairbanks Park along the Wabash River. Weather permitting, Joe, Janet, and John will be deploying passive detectors and demonstrating various active detectors, then returning for late evening data analysis part (BYOB); so be sure to bring your detectors!

One Session: March 31-April 2 (Monday afternoon-Wednesday late-afternoon). Class size: Limited to 20 participants. Location: Quality Inn, Terre Haute, IN.

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.

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.

 

Lectures/Discussions:

Echolocation 101/201-Biology and Technology

  • The Physics of Sound and Bat Echolocation Basics
  • Basics of Search Phase Calls, Approach, and Feeding Buzz
  • Open vs. Cluttered Habitat Effects
  • Microphone Placement and Weatherproofing Considerations

Choosing the Right Bat Detector for the Job

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

Guided Demo: Offloading data from D500x and other common detectors

  • Suggested File Management Structure & Nomenclature
  • Selecting an appropriate Batch Attributer and adding metadata
  • SonoScrubber: your new best friend

Guided Demo: Introduction to SonoBat Basic Operations

  • Setting Preferences, using the Auto-recorder, displaying Calls
  • Comparing Un-known Files with Reference Views
  • Automated Species Classification

Call Morphology & Call Characteristics of Northeastern U.S. Bats

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

Using SonoBat 3.x for Automated Identification

  • Batch Processing, Call Parameter Extraction, Output, and What Does It All Mean?
  • Verifying SonoBat Classifications, Decisions, and Recognizing Ambiguous Sequences, "vetting" files

Visualizing Mobile Transects

Workflow for Using FS Data With EchoClass, BCID, and Kaleidoscope Pro

  • Case Studies: SonoBat vs. EchoClass vs. BCID vs. Kaleidoscope Pro

The Power of the MS Excel Pivot Table for Interpreting Results

  • Appropriate Designs for SonoBatch Outputs
  • Sample Workflow for Processing Data
  • Charting, Graphing, and Presenting Information
  • Case Study: Combining Nets, Traps, Active, and Passive Detection

Evening Geek Sessions (optional)

  • 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.
  • The Quality Inn is situated one block from Fairbanks Park along the Wabash River. Weather permitting, Joe, Janet, and John will be deploying passive detectors and demonstrating various active detectors, then returning for late evening data analysis party (BYOB).

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."

 

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Acoustic Software
Terre Haute, IN Training Workshop

Location and Directions: The workshop will be held in the Quality Inn: 555 South Third Street, Terre Haute, IN, US, 47807; Phone: (812) 235-3333. Directions and map can be obtained from their website.

Dates: March 31-April 2 (Monday-Wednesday). Check in starts at noon, program begins promptly at 1 PM.

Lodging:
Quality Inn: 555 South Third Street, Terre Haute, IN, US, 47807; Phone: (812) 235-3333. Room rates start ~$50 per night, and includes breakfast, wifi, and parking. All guest rooms feature coffee makers with free coffee, hair dryers, irons, ironing boards, pillow-top mattresses and cable television. Some rooms offer microwaves, refrigerators, whirlpool bath tub and sofa sleepers.

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, M500, D1000x, Binary Acoustic Technologies MiniMic, AR125, FR125, iFR-V, Batbox Baton, Wildlife Acoustics SM2BAT192/384, SM2BAT+, SM3, 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: All meals are "on your own". Breakfast is included for Quality Inn guests. While the Quality Inn does not contain a restaurant, a number of restaurant options (steakhouse/Dennys/Japanese/Chinese/Thai/Subway/McDonalds) are within walking distance.

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

 

2014 IN Acoustic Software Workshop

Cost: $495.00 per participant w/early registration discount
($595.00 after March 10, 2014)
3 days/2 nights in Terre Haute, IN

Please note logistics force us to limit workshop attendance. Registration and payment is required to reserve your slot! Full payment must be received before March 10, 2014 to confirm your reservation. Reservations cannot be held without payment. After March 10, reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis if space is still available. Daily rates for this event are not available. Fee is not refundable after March 10, 2014 but registration is transferable to another participant for this workshop only