Gannon, Wentzel to discuss plight of Pennsylvania's bats at Research Unplugged

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Michael Gannon and Doug Wentzel will present "The Secret Lives of Bats: Why Bats Matter and How We Can Help Them" at the fourth Research Unplugged event of the semester on Oct. 31 at 12:30 p.m. in Schlow Centre Region Library, downtown State College.

Michael Gannon is professor of biology at Penn State Altoona, and Doug Wentzel is program director of the University's Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.

Gannon's research focuses on monitoring bat populations in both temperate and tropical communities, including the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominica and the U. S. Virgin Islands. Closer to home, Gannon and his students have worked in the Allegheny National Forest, developing ultrasonic bat survey techniques which may be used to identify different species of bats by their ultrasonic calls.

Wentzel has spent decades striving to help people and communities learn to live in harmony with our natural environment. He is committed to raising public awareness about bat conservation and the white nose syndrome that is decimating bat populations across the Northeast. Recent estimates indicate the fungal disease has killed more than 6 million bats since 2006. In Pennsylvania, all cave-dwelling bat species are vulnerable to the disease.

Research Unplugged is in its 10th year of bringing together a broad range of Penn State researchers and the State College community for informal conversation.

All events will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. each Thursday through Nov. 14, and are free and open to the public, with complimentary light refreshments. Limited free parking is available at Schlow Library beginning at 11:45 a.m. The series is made possible with the support of Penn State and Schlow Library.

Last Updated October 31, 2013