As a part of their Biology II class, Mountie students traveled to Nathan’s Divide to install bat boxes. The class, taught by Dr. Crystal Goldyn, did research on how important bats are to local ecosystems, and learned how human actions can negatively affect the bat populations. They installed the bat boxes to assist with the conservation of bats and to provide them with a safe place to raise their young.

Senior Devonna Weimer said that she thought of the project because she did a lot of camping last summer. 

“I came across a couple of these bat boxes and thought it was a cool idea.”

Dr. Goldyn said that the class hopes that the bats will migrate to the area and away from people’s houses. Bats enter homes seeking warmth and safety, so putting up bat boxes eight feet off the ground, facing south, and near water or where there are a lot of insects will provide better, safer housing.

As a service learning project, the bat box installation provided students with a hands-on learning project, since they had to research the bats native to our area, connect with leadership at Nathan’s Divide to partner for a location, and research where to hang the box.

“For the students, they’re learning that service can teach you things that sitting in a classroom can’t,” said Dr. Goldyn.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission donated the bat box in Nathan’s Divide, as well as one to hang on campus.