Southwestern Desert Bats Class

Southwestern Desert Bats Class, October 6 - 8, 2017

Patricia Brown-Berry, Ph.D. will offer a class on southwestern desert bats sponsored by the Maturango Museum to be held at the Desert Studies Center (DSC) at Soda Springs (Zzyzx) south of Baker, California from the evening of October 6th until 2 PM on October 8th.

Dr. Brown-Berry has taught this class (or variations) at the DSC for over 35 years. She has conducted research on bats for over 45 years, is a retired Research Associate at UCLA, and former Director of the Maturango Museum (1982-92). She currently consults with state and federal agencies on bat surveys and conservation issues, in particular with regard to abandoned mine closures.

because of their nocturnal nature they are usually difficult to observe. This course will introduce the participants to the world of bats and to some of the techniques used by scientists to study these amazing mammals. Nightly field work will allow participants to use ultrasonic bat detectors and night vision equipment and to observe the mist-netting of wild bats (unless it’s windy). Diurnal lectures and videos will supplement the field experiences. Bring a field notebook, camp chair and flashlight (headlight preferred). A camera and binoculars are desirable.

Soda Springs (a.k.a. ZZYZX) has a rich history, with Native American petroglyphs in the vicinity. Subsequently, it served at times as a fort along the Mojave Road, railroad stop, and health spa under Dr. Curtis Springer before becoming part of the California State University Preserve system. The Desert Studies Center lies within the Mojave National Preserve. Throughout the year, the DSC hosts a variety of desert-oriented courses in several disciplines as well as scientific research. Students will stay in dormitory rooms with desks and bunk beds (students bring their own bedding and towel). If available, couples will be accommodated in bungalows with double beds. Other facilities include classrooms, library, laboratory, kitchen and restroom facilities, and a pool. The DSC is “off the grid” and power is by solar, wind and a back-up generator. The meals are provided by a gourmet chef. If you have special dietary needs, let us know in advance. You will enjoy your stay at this fascinating facility.

Registration Cost

$275 per person  Includes instruction, two nights’ lodging at the Center, a snack Friday evening and five meals beginning with breakfast on Saturday.

Registration online only @

Enrollment is limited to 25 students.

Cancellation Policy

• Cancellation by August 31: $25 processing fee

• Cancellation September 01 – 15: $75 processing fee

• Cancellation after September 15: no refund. However, if there is a waiting list and we are able to fill your spot, we will refund all except the $75 processing fee

Class Schedule

Tab through the at-a-glance tentative schedule.
  • Friday, October 6, 2017
  • Saturday, October 7, 2017
  • Sunday, October 8, 2017

0500 pm - 0700 pm

Class arrives and checks into accommodations.

If you arrive late, try to find the group near the ponds as you come into the Center.

Mist nets will be set at dusk over the water sources at the Desert Studies Center (unless it’s windy). Class will have an opportunity to observe captured bats and to monitor the bats’ ultrasonic signals using “bat detectors.”

0730 am


0830 am

Lecture and PowerPoint presentations

1230 pm


0100 pm

Lecture on bats and mines

0200 pm


0300 pm

Depart for Amargosa Springs to see mine habitat and then to Salt Creek to mist net bats and record echolocation signals. Picnic dinner.


Approximate return to the Center

0800 am


0900 am

Discussion of mist net and evening observations, then presentations on white-nose syndrome, alternative energy and other impacts to bats followed by bat videos.

1230 pm

Lunch. We will finish discussions after lunch.

0200 pm

Class dismissed

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work! Please upgrade today!