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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Bat expert to share insight from field

 
 

In the spirit of Halloween, the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History will host Donald Clark for a lecture on his experience researching bats.
Clark, Class of 1964 and retired research biologist, spent nearly 30 years researching bats and the effects contaminants have on them.
Clark said a majority of his lecture will look at his work studying the effects of insecticides, heavy metals, DDTs and other contaminants.
“A lot of focus will be on lecturing about the Mexican free-tailed bat — the bat that is under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin and the bat that is in Kyle Field, or was, before they rebuilt it,” Clark said.
Clark said he studied the bats in Kyle Field 15 years ago and he found they were contaminated.
Clark said he will also speak on the measures taken to protect the bats from harmful chemicals.
He said that there won’t be a lot of mystical discussion on bats, but he will discuss the science of bats and why they are important. Clark said the lecture should coincide well with Halloween.
“People do associate bats with a Halloween, and so if we did a lecture on bats during Halloween, people might be interested to learn more about them,” Clark said.
Deborah Cowman, executive director of the museum, said she expects a big turnout for the lecture. Cowman said she also hopes people will find the lecture entertaining.
“Of course we are also going to have a little Halloween party to conclude the lecture and we will have some food and the staffs are all going to be in costumes,” Cowman said. “I hope others also come in costumes. We are even going to have a prize for the best costume.”
Madeline Herron, biomedical sciences senior, said she looks forward to the lecture and considers it important for people to be better educated about bats.
“We just want to introduce bats, because there are a lot of mixed messages about bats,” Herron said. “We want their good name to go out there because they are mammals just like us, and they deserve their time under the sun too.”
Guests are encouraged to attend in costume and the presentation will be followed by a reception with cupcakes and punch. The lecture will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

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