Southwestern Desert Bats Class

soda springs

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 Friday October 6th until 2 PM on Sunday 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 48 years, is a retired Research Associate at UCLA, and former Director of the Maturango Museum (1982-92). She regularly consults with state and federal agencies on bat surveys and conservation issues, in particular with regard to abandoned mine closures.

Bats are important components of the desert ecosystem, yet 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.

Cost: $275 per person which includes instruction, two nights’ lodging at the Center, a snack Friday evening and five meals beginning with breakfast on Saturday. A tentative itinerary is attached. Registration is 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.

 The mission of the Maturango Museum is to preserve, interpret, and develop an appreciation for the natural and cultural history of the Northern Mojave Desert through research and education in the natural and physical sciences, and to promote the arts.

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100 East Las Flores Ave
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
760-375-6900 | FAX 760-375-0479
Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm
(Excluding Major Holiday)

The Maturango Museum is a Death Valley Tourist Center and  Northern Mojave Visitors Center 

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