Category: Georgina V.

Greetings fellow iSWOOPers!

I am currently looking at incorporating some of the iSWOOP content/resources into my evening programs at Tumacácori National Historical Park. I also hope to use some of this for bat appreciation day, the park is planning a special program and display on April 17, 2017.

We have a park iPad, would I be able to download some of the videos and images onto it? Thoughts or suggestions on how to go about acquiring these resources?

I will plan on using the tools available through

I will let you all know how things progress as the program evolves.

Thank you for the help and suggestions.



Rich Description; New Spins on iSWOOP Programs


I am seeing rich description in the feedback forms. Thank you recent iSWOOP presenters. Here’s a description from Georgina so if you haven’t had a chance to chat with her can get  a sense for how she’s continuing to try to get the audience really involved in the program.

A couple thoughts–It sounds very cool, Georgina, how you used the grid. I also like a lot the idea that you chose slides and videos as you needed them to illustrate points you or the audience were making. It sounds as though you were able to introduce the idea behind some of the technologies and then circle back to their application. That sounds great, so people get to hear an idea more than once, with increasing detail or more examples.

Questions–I’m wondering how you wrapped up. Were you happy with the wrap up? Almost as if it were a bad thing, you wrote: “They (participants) were curious and interested but a couple of time I had to give an example of an area of research. For example population size or colony size, how would you estimate the number of bats in the cave considering the challenges and technologies we discussed earlier.” Is it a negative in your mind? Why?

from Georgina

This program I actually set up a bit differently that I had previously been doing. I Started with the template presentation will most of the images and videos. I figured I would set the presentation up like a Jeopardy game. I didn’t have categories set up so I just went ahead and introduced the topics and asked the visitors what questions that they have about bats. This would be an attempt to help the visitor decide what they wanted to talk about or hear/see.

On the screen the video of the bat flight was playing. I started off by introducing iSWOOP. I asked the visitors what they would do if they where a scientists and were interested in learning more bout the animal that they were observing emerge from the cave. What are some of the challenges that they might have to deal with or overcome to get answers to their questions?
Some of the challenges that the visitors pointed out from watching the video included, the bats are fast and they are nocturnal.
We then talked about technologies available to us and how they could be helpful in studying bats.

I then asked the group what some questions that they have about bats were. They several different questions and I then talked about those and the technologies that researchers use to study the bats. If I had an image or video for a particular question I used it.

They were curious and interested but a couple of time I had to give an example of an area of research. For example population size or colony size, how would you estimate the number of bats in the cave considering the challenges and technologies we discussed earlier.

Bat Mortality FAQs


Bat Mortality FAQs

-What are natural predators of bats?

-What are other threats to bats?

-What is influencing the fluctuations in colony size that have been observed in the Brazilian Free-tailed bats at Carlsbad Caverns National Park? Why did I (a visitor) see fewer bats this year than I did when I last visited a few years ago?

-What types of technologies do researchers use to monitor a bat colony/population?

-How do researchers estimate the size of a colony/population and whether it is stable, increasing or in decline?

-What does it mean if a species is threatened or endangered? 

-Why should I care if bats are experiencing massive die offs? So What?

Bat extinctions.

Bats are unique organisms and they provide ecosystem services.

A few thoughts..

What an experience.

Out of a rut indeed. Working you all over the week and developing new program, very cool. A challenge with new and exciting opportunities.

I enjoyed having the opportunity to participate in iSWOOP. I have also enjoyed watching and leaning from my fellow rangers. I look forward to more opportunities in which we share suggestions and ideas about our programs as we continue to improve them.


I have presented my program once to two co-workers because no one showed up and another time to two visitors. I’ve condensed my presentation some since I originally presented it. The ranger’s response to the program was good. They were excited about all of the new resources available to us.

A couple of visitors joined me for the program and they too were fairly excited and they had a few questions.


We speculated as to why there was a decline in the population size in for the data in the graph. I believe lowest colony census recorded was in the month of July.  Has the data shown on the graph been correlated with other environmental factors like precipitation? Can we attribute the decline in that month to drought?


Overall the experience and interactions were positive and it was enjoyable.

Finding the inner scientist in you.

As we make keen observations and gather information about an image, a video, a natural process or our surroundings, we process that information and begin to reflect and formulate questions. These observations provide us with opportunities to think critically and gain knowledge.  It seems as if this would be a natural, instinctive thought process. For some it is. For some it seems that we lose the ability to make observations or think critically. In turn we become passive listeners who repeat the expected answers.  As interpreters we facilitate connections between visitors and the resources that we interpret. iSWOOP takes this concept a step further by challenging us to facilitate active inquiry that allows visitors to make observations, reflect and then formulate questions.

Active learning involves making an observation and asking questions.

The question in turn is, how do we nurture our and the visitors inner scientist?