UM Research Teams to Study Endangered Bats on Air Force Bases

May 20, 2016

MISSOULA – The Center for Integrated Research on the Environment at the University of Montana will monitor endangered bats on U.S. Air Force bases through its ongoing partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and Army Corps of Engineers.

Beginning at the end of May, two-person teams of veterans and UM students will conduct acoustical data surveys to detect the presence of Northern Long-eared Bats on 14 different Air Force bases over three weeks.

As of April 2015, the Northern Long-eared Bat is protected under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Air Force initiated the surveys to ensure adherence to any requirements pertinent to the bat’s ESA listing.

The teams include veterans C.T. Callaway and Jacob Howard, UM student-veteran Christina Cain and UM undergraduate student Ingrid DeGroot. CIRE Program Coordinator Austin Blank said the project is beneficial for both the Department of Defense and UM.

“The bat survey is both an interesting and important project as the Department of Defense takes a proactive approach to land management,” Blank said. “It is a great opportunity to advance undergraduate applied research at the University of Montana and further develop CIRE and UM’s relationship with the Department of Defense and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

The Department of Defense is charged with military land management. In May 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a five-year, $45 million cooperative agreement with UM to study and solve environmental and cultural resource problems across the nation.

Through the agreement, the University also assists the Corps in implementing land and water ecological restoration, maintenance and training for optimal management of public resources. Together, the two entities work to promote positive ecosystem health, endangered species awareness, and the continuing wealth of natural resources on Air Force bases.

“CIRE’s involvement is particularly exciting as the DoD seeks to bridge the gap between academia and applied field research,” Blank said.

CIRE is a center at UM organized within a suite of investigation, research and support areas with specific roles and responsibilities strategically designed to address the particular needs of its clients. In addition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Defense, CIRE works with agencies, foundations and private organizations to accomplish specific research goals.

For more information call Blank at 406-243-4009 or email austin.blank@umontana.edu.

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Contact: Austin Blank, Center for Integrated Research on the Environment program coordinator, 406-243-4009, austin.blank@umontana.edu.