In the past 14 years, 184 graduate students have relied on Bat Conservation International scholarships to conduct bat conservation-related research in 44 countries. In addition to their direct contributions to conservation, these young people acquired the knowledge and advanced degrees needed to become leaders on behalf of bats worldwide.
A panel of leading bat scientists reviews scholarship applications and guides the selection process. The scholarships provide seed money to attract matching funds from other sources. Historically, BCI scholarship awards have been matched at a ratio of 11 to 1, producing millions of dollars in vital research. Here’s a sampling of the research being undertaken with 2004 BCI scholarships:
• Mapping the diversity of bats in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa to help establish conservation priorities and population monitoring and to guide future studies of bat behavior and needs in these habitats.
• Examining the responses of forest bats to varied timber-harvesting strategies along streams, clearings and roadways in North Carolina to improve bat-friendly timber management.
• Identifying factors that affect bats’ choice of cave roosts in Madagascar to help limit the impact of cave tourism.
• Documenting the seasonal movements of Townsend’s big-eared bats between hibernation sites and summer roosts in Washington to identify poorly understood patterns that play important roles in conservation.
This year’s 12 scholarship students are adding to our understanding of bats and bat habitats in five countries. But we could do so much more. Limited resources force us to reject many excellent applicants with important projects. You can help Bat Conservation International support these students and make a real difference far into the future.
2004 Oracle Bat Research Scholars
Oracle Corporation of Redwood Shores, California, provided a generous grant to BCI’s scholarship program, allowing us to support key research by eight graduate students. Here are the 2004 Oracle Scholars (with their university and research country):
Scott Cardiff, Columbia University (Madagascar)
Gloriana Chaverri, Boston University (Costa Rica)
Kathryn Durkee, Longwood University (Virginia)
Marcia Maslonek, West Virginia University (Pennsylvania)
Eleni Papadatou, Leeds University (Greece)
Daniel Riskin, Cornell University (Madagascar)
Patricia Ruback, Northern Illinois University (South Africa)
Stu Tuttle, Northern Arizona University (Arizona)