Two students from the Port Augusta program were successful in winning Earthwatch Student Challenge Scholarships and travelled interstate last year to complete their challenges in assisting with scientific field research projects.
Jessica McCarthy and Corey Laughton travelled to Melbourne to assist in a micro bat research project. Some of the tasks involved setting up harp traps, and monitoring the traps for caught bats. Once bats were found in the traps they were removed by the research staff and participants helped in weighing and measuring. During their week in Melbourne they assisted with setting up the light traps, and also collected the insects which were analysed in the lab the following day. Micro bats range from the size of a moth to a hand and most people in Melbourne are completely unaware of their existence. A total of 16 species of micro bats have been detected across greater Melbourne.