Citizen Science Center volunteers assist the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with their Acoustic Bat Monitoring Program. Volunteers attend a training workshop during the spring where they learn how to use an AnaBat detector, which records bat calls using a personal digital assistant that has a global positioning system to record the location and time. The bat detector translates the bat's call "on the fly" to a frequency that humans can hear. In this way, volunteers can actually hear what a bat call sounds like, while making sure the device is working correctly.
After training, bat volunteers borrow the AnaBat detection system, dubbed the “Bat Monitoring Kit,” for one to three nights to conduct bat surveys of local parks, neighborhoods, lakes and trails. Sometimes volunteers survey areas of their choice and sometimes they are asked to survey specific sites.
Once a volunteer selects a site to survey, they agree to survey that site three times during the season, once in April/May, once in June/July, and once in August/September. Each survey is between one to three hours (a minimum of 1 hour). Surveys begin a half-hour after sunset. Bat monitoring volunteers of all ages are welcome to participate. Volunteers younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult.