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Bat Acoustic Workshops • 3-5 day and Hybrid Training Events

These classes jumpstart new users towards responsibly interpreting acoustic bat detector studies required by agencies, clients, and professional researchers. Moderately experienced users will appreciate the call ID refresher, manual review practice, and learning deeper features of SonoBat.

Generally, we offer two types of bat acoustic workshops;  "Workflow" workshops are 3 days and cover basic detector work, post processing, and call ID. The longer "Field Monitoring" workshops cover everything in the "Workflow" class, includes more topics, more manual review, and more field events. Sampling "protocols" are usually just outdated suggestions; we teach best practices for obtaining high quality recordings which have the best chances for species identification. Participants then can apply this knowledge when adopting and improving their ever-evolving monitoring protocols.

All sessions begin with an introduction of ultrasound, how bats utilize it, and how it interacts with the world around us, which in turn dictates microphone selection and micro siting for the best species diversity and sound quality for analysis.

Acoustic Data Post Processing Workflow 

We will post process bat acoustic data from a multi-site, multi-night project introducing basic data management considerations. Using the SonoBat Data Wizard, we will standardize filenames, add useful notes, remove noise, analyze the full spectrum data, flag feeding buzzes, and demonstrate tools that can fix self-inflicted data management issues. We also include a brief introduction to Kaleidoscope Pro to generate a file-level output with both Kaleidoscope Pro and SonoBat side-by-side.

Bat Call Identification 

For the heavy lifting of manual vetting and call ID, we feature SonoBat exclusively, as it has proven to be the most accurate, user-friendly, and most useful for bat call analysis. With over 30 years in development by a bat-specific team, SonoBat is the only software available today that takes full advantage of the rich full-spectrum data obtained using today's most advanced recorders. Participants receive guided practice on how to interpret the "auto-classification" decisions, determine confidence, and ultimately manually confirm or reject the computer-estimated "probable species presence" results.

We introduce basic tools of SonoBat while reviewing 20 "problem" files typically recorded during passive monitoring projects. We discuss causes, remedies,  what to do with multiple bats in a recording, how to recognize undesirable bat behavior, and how to know when conditions are right to accept a bat call identification. Participants learn to use SonoBat tools to add notes to these files and keep them for reference.

We review 60 regional high-frequency, low-frequency, and myotis example recordings which participants manually ID and keep for future reference. Returning to the example project, we demonstrate how to quickly find species of interest, and justify species presence or absence that will pass peer review, and agency scrutiny.

Field Trips & Geek Sessions

Bring your own detector to practice with, or borrow our  hardware from Pettersson, Titley Electronics, Wildlife Acoustics, and Binary Acoustic Technology. Field trips are dependent on local conditions and weather. Plan to stay extra late to take advantage of Geek Sessions, which are opportunities for post processing data recored that night, and more 1:1 time with instructors with call ID, detector troubleshooting, or any other topic.

Acoustic Workflow PA Venue: Two evening activities will demonstrate passive and active recording hardware and mobile transect techniques. Evening activities include an active & passive setup demonstrations at a campfire. There will also be a one-way walking transect along the nearby Appalachian Trail after dinner at, appropriately, Appalachian Brewing Company.

Field Monitoring Kentucky Venue: Four evenings provide opportunities for demonstrating passive and active recording hardware and mobile transect techniques. Evening activities include active & passive setup at rivers, springs, ponds, caves, and other bat roosts. There will be a one-way walking transect past two springs and three cave entrances with large bat swarms containing Indiana, little brown, tricolored, grey, and Northern long-ear bats. If logistics allow, we will light-tag captured bats to obtain "voucher" recordings of known bats used to test acoustic classification software. Early arrivals may join instructors for a bonus field night out before the workshop begins.

Field Monitoring Florida Venue: Four evenings allow us to practice passive and active recording hardware and mobile transect techniques. We can visit several bridges to view and record Mexican free tails bats. Our partners at Florida Wildlife Commission escort us to count & record Florida bonneted bats emerging, while learning about local research efforts. The best bat activity is along Florida's freshwater rivers; participants have a unique opportunity to conduct two river transects, manually review the recordings, and then visualize the bat calls in Google Earth. 

Online Class Opportunity- PA only

This hybrid class provides a remote participation opportunity for those unable to attend in-person. This option is only available at the Pennsylvania venue. Classes are held at BCM's studio to provide high-quality, uninterrupted streaming from multiple camera angles. A separate instructor is dedicated to handling remote viewers, facilitating as much participation as possible.  Class size, including remote participants, is limited for best experience. Note class times are Eastern unless otherwise noted.

Acoustic Workflow Workshop Highlights

  • 3 days (30.5) hours or 4 days (45 hours) of contact time with ~4 instructors of combined 80+ years experience, 2 evening field recording events, 2 informal geek sessions, some lunches and dinners (see venue registration for specifics).
  • Passive Bat Detector Deployment Tips
  • File Organization & Post-processing Acoustic Files for Analysis
  • Generating AutoID Outputs from SonoBat and KaleidoscopePro, Analyzing Results, Interpreting MLE Values & Determining Occupancy
  • Echolocation Call Characteristics of Regional Bat Species
  • Viewing Full-spectrum Files in SonoBat; Using Qualitative Analysis during Manual Vetting Efforts
  • Tips for Success & Improving Recording Quality




Bat Survey Support

Need to start a project but have no time for training? We partner with consultants large and small nationwide to provide equipment, technicians, analysis, netting, trapping, radio telemetry, and custom training workshops. Please contact John Chenger at or (814) 442-4246 to discuss your project and timelines. 

Have you already conducted an acoustic survey and looking for a second opinion on your data? BCM may be able to help with its Professional Acoustic Data Analysis Service.

Each workshop's details vary with local research needs, access, conditions, and available resources. For venue-specific details, meals, & lodging suggestions, please view the event registration page: