Knowledge is crucial to protecting bats. And Bat Conservation International has been helping to increase scientific information about bats since 1990 through its worldwide Student Research Scholarship Program. We're still at it. Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 BCI Scholarships that support conservation-relevant research throughout the world. The deadline for completing online applications is December 15, 2011.
BCI has so far awarded 310 scholarships to help students conduct important research in 60 countries. In addition to increasing our knowledge about bats and conservation, these scholarships encourage and support a new generation of scientists, many of whom will lead bat conservation into the future.
Students enrolled in degree-granting programs at colleges and universities of any nation are eligible to apply for scholarships of up to $5,000 each for the 2012-13 academic year. They are available to support research projects that contribute to the knowledge needed to conserve bats and their habitats anywhere in the world.
Qualified research should address at least one of these issues: answering ecological or behavioral questions that are essential to conservation or management; resolving an economic problem that will improve support for conservation; or documenting key ecological or economic roles of bats.
Students in degree-granting programs at any university are eligible to apply. These scholarships are competitive, and applications will be judged by a panel of non-BCI scientists. Awards are announced in the Spring.
Applications must be completed online at BCI's website. (More information is available at the website.)
BCI provided 19 scholarships for the current academic year. Among them were:
• Kevin Heist (University of Minnesota, USA): Siting wind farms for wildlife: Predicting bat-fatality risk at prospective wind farm sites, United States.
• Chun-Chia Huang (Texas Tech University, USA) Bats' ecological services in rainforests & agriculture, Indonesia.
• Rodrigo Marciente (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Brazil) Understory impacts on bat diversity in Amazonia, Brazil;
• Ryszard Oleksy (University of Bristol, United Kingdom) Value of bat-dispersed seeds in forest regeneration, Madagascar;
• Lisa Powers (University of Illinois, USA) Effects of non-lethal infection by the White-nose Syndrome-linked fungus on the reproductive rate of cave-hibernating bats, United States;
• Rubén Salinas-Galicia (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) Winter resources for migratory nectar bats, Mexico;
• Bruno Silva (Évora University, Portugal) Developing an automated system for acoustic identification of bat species, Portugal.