Speaking of bats and fish...
Attendees at Earthwatch's final Sydney and Melbourne Info Night for 2009 were treated to some field facts from Earthwatch's new scientist-for-a-day researchers.
Sydney-siders go fish
The Sydney Info Night began with Prof Dave Booth delving into his new one-day field research project, Sydney's Tropical Damsels & Surgeons, that snorkelling volunteers can join.
Prof Booth, a marine biologist from University of Technology, Sydney, touched on the impacts climate change is having on tropical fish along Australia's east-coast and their potential ability to survive in winter; due to warmer water temperatures.
The night was held at Sydney Aquarium and supported by their Conservation Fund.
Melburnians and bats
Down in Melbourne, the night kicked off with Earthwatch's ClimateWatch Bingo - highlighting the species you can begin observe in your area. Prize winners received one of Earthwatch's new eco-prize packs.
Earthwatch's new bat specialist Dr Rodney van der Ree presented his work on microbats living around the city streets.
With around 17 native species of microbats living in urban areas, Dr van der Ree suggested that longer-winged microbats may survive better in urban areas (perhaps due to their ability to navigate larger distances and between buildings) whilst their shorter-winged cousins may survive better in more forested areas without the threats of the city's landscapes.
Melbourne's Microbats will be running during selected evenings throughout 2010 so make sure you keep your eyes and ears out for signs of those teams.
Volunteer of the Year
Later at the Melbourne Info Night, congratulations were presented to Deanna Rowe who was named Earthwatch's 2009 Volunteer of the Year. Deanna made the trip from NSW for the evening, which was little compared to her volunteering experience in Africa on Earthwatch's Madagascar's Lemurs expedition.
The audience was left a little out of breath as Deanna described the strenous hikes and tough terraine that volunteers had to deal with in order to track lemurs. Read a personal account from Deanna on her Madagascar's Lemurs experience here.
Thank you to all who attended the Info Nights, we hope you received some great advice and inspiration from our guest speakers. And special thanks to Prof Dave Booth, Dr Rod van der Ree and Deanna Rowe for their unique and informative presentations.