01-1015.htmlTEXTGoMk+mBIN Friends of Oceanography Presentation to Explore the World of Bats
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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Friends of Oceanography Presentation to Explore the World of Bats

Narragansett, RI -- October 15, 2001 -- Friends of Oceanography at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) will present the third in a series of free Sunday afternoon science lectures on October 28 at 3 p.m. Bats: Fact, Fiction and Natural History will be given by URI Coastal Institute director Dr. Peter August, who is also a professor in the department of natural resources science. The lecture will be held in the Coastal Institute Auditorium on the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett.

Every night millions of insects emerge into the sky. Many, such as mosquitoes, are in search of a blood meal. Lucky for humans, we have an ally who spends countless hours until dawn devouring and eliminating millions upon millions of insects. Without bats, life would be quite different. Nighttime activities would be impossible because increasing insect populations would make outings such as barbecues, picnics, and evening walks unbearable.

Many things people think they know about bats aren’t even true. Bats aren’t blind. They’re not rodents, and they won’t get tangled in your hair. The truth is that bats are among the most gentle, beneficial, and necessary animals on earth. August will review the diversity of bats on global and regional scales. He will talk about the fascinating life history of Rhode Island bats, discuss the positive ecological functions bats serve, and go over bat-human interactions and public health risks.

A resident of Wakefield, August received a B.S. from the University of San Diego, an M.S. from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. from Boston University. August’s research centers around conservation biology, landscape ecology, and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the analysis of environmental data. Particular areas of interest include the ecological importance of shape in the habitat mosaic, design of refuges to protect biodiversity, integration of GIS data and satellite imagery, and correlation of geomorphological variables with measures of biological richness. Current projects aim to enhance spatial data analysis capacity in the National Parks of the northeastern U.S., to measure patterns of biodiversity at landscape scales, and to develop land acquisition models for the conservation of natural resources.

All lectures are free and open to the public. For information, call 874-6602.
Contact: Lisa Cugini, (401) 874-6642, lcugini@gso.uri.edu

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