British Science Week and Bat Detective: get involved!
British Science Week 2016 begins this Friday! This year’s citizen science theme is “all things bat-related”, and if you’ve been following us on social media you might have noticed that we’re excited to be one of the week’s main citizen science partners. With the help of both our fantastic current community of citizen scientists and what we hope will be many new recruits, we’ve set ourselves the goal of reaching 100,000 new classifications over the course of British Science Week.
So from Friday 11th March to Sunday 20th March we’re asking for your assistance in helping us to hit our target, by listening for for bats, insects and other sounds on Bat Detective. An extra 100,000 classifications will give us a fantastic boost in useable data for our bat detection algorithms, and will be a great step towards our goal of producing new software for bat population monitoring. We’ll have a counter on the Bat Detective site throughout the week, counting up the number of classifications we’ve managed so far and reminding us of how far we’ve yet to go. So please do get involved during the week and help us reach our goal — your efforts are very much appreciated and are invaluable to our research. To get involved, head to the Bat Detective website at any time and click “Get Searching”.
In addition to aiming for this classification target, we’ve also got a week of special bat-related events planned in collaboration with British Science Week and the Grant Museum of Zoology.
These will be taking place throughout next week at the Grant Museum on Gower Street, London, just around the corner from where the Bat Detective team are based at UCL. Throughout the week, from Saturday 12th to Saturday 19th March, the Museum will be hosting a pop-up Bat Detective stand where people can participate, classify calls and help us reach our target. The week’s events will also include lunchtime talks from researchers from Bat Detective and the Bat Conservation Trust, a special immersive audio evening exploring bat echolocation, and a family bat-fun day on Saturday 19th. There’s lots of information at the Grant Museum homepage, which you can find here.
The full set of special events runs as follows. So if you’re in London, come along, get involved and say hello to us — members of the Bat Detective team will be attending or speaking at many of the events. We look forward to seeing you there. And to hear about our progress during British Science Week and keep updated with Bat Detective news, you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook.
Monday 14th March, 1:30pm–2:30pm
Bats at Lunchtime: The London Soundscape (talk)
A talk exploring how scientists at UCL are working to understand the health of London’s biodiversity through listening to its soundscape, including listening to bat calls.
Tuesday 15th March, 1:30pm–2:30pm
Bats at Lunchtime: On Dark Nights (talk)
A talk by researchers from the Bat Conservation Trust, discussing how street lights and other sources of urban light affect the nocturnal lives of bats.
Tuesday 15th March, 7pm—9pm
Bats: In The Dark
Join In the Dark Radio for an evening of stories told through sound (like a cinema, but without the pictures) at the Grant Museum of Zoology during British Science Week. Enjoy the Museum after hours and listen to hand-picked audio inspired by Bat Detective, an audio visual citizen science project that asks people to identify bat calls. Discover the strange calls of these creatures of the night and find out more about these amazing flying mammals at this exploration of echolocation. This event is ticketed — book a place here.
Wednesday 16th March, 1:30pm–2:30pm
Bats at Lunchtime: Bat Detective (talk)
A talk from members of the Bat Detective team. Learn more about the ideas and science behind the Bat Detective citizen science project, and how the contributions of citizen scientists are helping us to develop tools to reliably identify bat calls.
Thursday 17th March, 1:30pm–2:30pm
Bats at Lunchtime: Bats In The Woods (talk)
A talk by researchers from the Bat Conservation Trust. Woodlands are excellent foraging and roosting areas for bats — learn about efforts to protect these important habitats.
Saturday 19th March, 1pm—5pm
The Brilliance of Bats family day
Bats are taking over the Grant Museum for a mini festival celebrating the brilliance of these flying mammals. Join the Museum for an afternoon of bat-related fun, try batty crafts with finger puppets and origami, take a closer look at some of specimens, hear from scientists investigating bats here in London and discover more about the work of the Bat Conservation Trust. This event is free so there is no need to book, just drop in from 1pm to 5pm.